Monday, December 8, 2008

Who are you? Self-definition amid turbulent circumstance

How we define our selves to our selves - this question and this question alone lies at the heart of surviving changes brought on by job loss, foreclosure and turbulent circumstance.

Up to this point you have made meaning in your life with a certain set of thoughts, with a certain focus. But when you lose your job and your home - in a chaotic economy - that focus has to change.

When you lose your job, your home, you also lose contact with colleagues and associates that were bound up in those locations. Your respected place in the scheme of things, in your career, and as a bread-winner and homeowner disappear all in one shot. If these past things are gone - and if they never return - "who am I now?"

To survive, long-answered questions need to be revisited; long-held assumptions need to be re-examined.

Are you really only worth the support your provided to family, the income you generated for your company? Are you more than external titles and an inventory of purchased goods? Are you worth something, as a simple unemployed, foreclosed upon individual? Do you have value as one unique human character in a world cast of billions?

In other words do human beings have any intrinsic worth? If they do, then you do. Can a human being (you) have worth based on what is inside them rather than on what external titles and goods they posses? Certainly we do...