Who am I?

“Man, know thyself”. One of the most populous sayings used in our world today, a philosophical saying by yours truly, Socrates. But what he might have forgotten to add was more details, the heck, any detail. No guidelines on how can we know ourselves, if it is an epiphany experience, that strikes like a bolt of thunder only once at a particular location, or if it’s a continuous process. Socrates did not give any clues and so for this reason an inherent question has been buried in the fabric of man from the beginning of time and civilization, as shown by the answer offered by Socrates, the question “Who am I?”

This is neither a mere biological question nor is it a question that can be answered by technology or any form of science. It is a question that always hunts us. It’s so good a hunter that it even penetrates the complex mosaic design of our subconscious to taunt us there. But the only clue Socrates may have seem to leave for us in our quest, is that it is a personal question and can be answered only by one self. With the exception of twins (which happen on very rare cases), scientists propose that in order to find someone with same physical features like you in the universe you would have to travel a googolplex distance across the milky way galaxy. So if you are still thinking of finding someone to help you in the discovery of self, then you better be ready to buy a rocket and plenty rocket fuel.

The phenomenon of life is a gift, but with that gift comes a burden of purpose, of usefulness. The gift is made so beautiful and diverse with the inculcation of talents, hence the color surrounding our universe from the inventions made by men like Thomas Edison, to the music composed by men like George Fredrick Handel to the wonderful piece of art created by men like Michelangelo. Both the atheistic and theistic beliefs, no matter how diverse their doctrines, agree on a fact that, in every man, is found an inherent capability or capabilities that gives him the ability to be unique. Although the atheists are yet to prove the source of this capability, I stick with God as my own source. And so another question is born, “What is/are my capability/capabilities that make me unique?” or simply put, “What am I good at? What is my talent?”

Our educational system falters us in this area of life, because in the curriculum are not embedded ways that can help us with the answers to this question. Most parents try to correct this error from a child’s youthful age and while many end up forcing their children into a path not meant for them, others put their children in their life’s pathway using literal force. The justification for the latter is that the child would be grateful in the end. But put yourself in that child’s shoe, would you be happy to be robbed of your childhood no friends to play “mummy and daddy” with, to play hide and seek with, to cook very tasty meals using sand with. I am very sure that Ludwig Van Beethoven, even though he became one of the greatest composers of all time, was not happy for being flogged by his father to learn the violin in order to be a young prodigy like Mozart. All these prove the fact that the journey strictly a personal one.

So in our voyage to self-discovery, I believe the first step is to know that we all, in our own weird ways, are unique and are special. And once you can find what makes you special, what makes you unique, what makes you “You”, then you have been able to begin your journey in answering a question that has taunted the human race for eons. Thus to add to Socrates’ statement, unworthy as I may be, happy is that man who has found himself. In old English, lol, “Happieth art thou if knowest thyself.”


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