Friday, September 7, 2007

Deciding Who We Are

"Our cells are completely regenerating every seven years. We've already become completely different people several times over, and yet we always remain what is essentially ourselves."

Another Waking Life quotation. Isn't that an interesting concept? Like, we're constantly changing, but we slowly make those changes so we always appear the same. But, we're really composed of completely different matter than years before. Physically, we're not the same person we were as when we were a baby.

Expanding on that, speaking of change, another quotation from the movie goes as follows:

"It's always our decision who we are."

Do you agree with this statement? Personally, I think there are so many external factors that effect who we are, and we don't always have control of that. Things may happen to us that we don't necessarily want to, but we don't have the power to start it or start it. There are certain decisions we make that can make and shape who we are, but it's not always our decision. We can't always control what happens to us. All we can do is make ourselves be the smartest people we can, people capable of growth, no matter what happens to us.

Do you agree with the above quotation? Always?


Megan Bottle said...

True, we cannot always control what happens to us... BUT we can control what we take from what happens to us. It's like what we were talking about on our Ithaca trip: everything happens for a reason, but it's up to us to find the reason and make something out of it. For example, if something crappy happens, say, losing a job or being born on the kitchen floor, it's essentially your responsibility to be affected in whatever negative or positive way possible.

I say "essentially" in the same way that you say "always" in emphasis at the bottom of your post, though, because I don't ALWAYS think that we can control the effect of events on our lives. Think about the girl born on her kitchen floor (that example works really well... you're right...) she was engrained at a VERY young age to feel that nobody really cares about her- thus the emotional wall which she has built to protect herself. At such a young age, a person has no reason to believe that any other alternative exists- for example: "Wow, my life really sucks right now, but I don't have to let that affect me because I can be in control of what gets to me." Not so much with a kid.

This also brings me back to one of my mom's famous proverbs "It's what we allow in our lives to hurt us that hurts us." I guess this isn't EXACTLY the same idea that you're talking about in your post- but it sort of segues, i suppose.


THESE, Jami, are some more of the things that I want to help my future students understand.

Diane said...

I agree that we can't always control the external effects but I believe the bottom line is that we can control the kernel of who we are. And I think I am finally at that point!

Jami said...

I want to help future students understand this too. I just don't know how to do it yet.

I like how you said that we can control what we take from what happens to us. Sometimes people just get stuck on something bad that happens to them. They can't let go of it; they can't surpass it and it starts to control them in a sense. Instead of accepting the tragedy, looking at what went wrong, realizing what you can take from it, and moving on, I think they stay in it and the situation gets the best of them. It takes the strong person to stand up and realize they made a mistake or to acknowledge that it was/was not their fault and confront the issue head-on and say, "you know what? I'm better than this. I can move on." Easier said than done.

We could be born on the kitchen floor, but that was only who we were that day. We don't have to be that person forever.

Mike said...

"The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string, we have, and that is our attitude..." - Chuck Swindoll

"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens." Kahlil Gibran

I love these quotes - mike