“We are human beings, not human doings,” a friend recently said.
I don’t know about you, but I’m often hung up on what I need to be doing next and if I’m doing enough. So when someone reminded me this week that we’re human beings, not human doings, it made an impact.
If we’re always in our heads harping over details of yesterday or what’s going to happen tomorrow, never enjoying anything as it happens, are we ever really living?
Asking myself this made me realize how much I define myself by what I do — or what I’ve accomplished. I’m a writer and editor. I’m married with two cats, and I’m counting down the days to Season Two of Stranger Things.
But do those things really define me?
Writing and editing are what I do. Cats and a house are what I’ve acquired. TV just fills my time, and my husband is who I hang with. None of this makes me any different from all those other married, literate, TV-watching homeowners perpetually covered in cat hair.
These things categorize me, but I’m not sure they define me.
How would you describe what makes you “you”? Are you defined by what you do, who you’re with, or what you’ve achieved?
Would you instead define yourself by what you feel and how you perceive things? If you were blind or deaf or unable to speak or even move, would that make you any less real? Or any less important?
Makes me wonder if it’s even possible for us to fully define ourselves, or if we need others to fill in the blanks for us. After all, I can believe all I want that I’m a good person, but if no one else sees it, am I really?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that while goals and achievements are important, so is being in the now. Get off your phone, and listen to people. Notice what’s around you, instead of zoning out.
I think what truly defines us is how we interact with what’s around us — people, nature, higher power. And how we let it all change us.