The Defining Factor
|What will be on your gravestone - what will others inscribe?|
What defines you?
Are you an athlete? Writer? Student? Christian? Parent? Dentist? Teenager? Mormon? Blogger?
You may be many of the above (obviously, you can't be all of the above; if you are, see a therapist and clear up your schedule before you have a heart attack at eighteen). You may only be one or two. You may be nothing I've listed. But what defines you?
Think about it. We define ourselves every day - every hour - every minute, in fact. We define ourselves with our clothing. We define ourselves with our time. We define ourselves with our habits. Most obviously, we define ourselves with our words.
We use these defining words online the most. About you. Your profile. Your wall. Your account. Share a little about yourself. How do you see yourself? Something interesting about you. Your bio.
I'm many things - daughter, sister, Christian, blogger, teenager, girl, writer, girlfriend, granddaughter, student, reader, Internet user, movie lover, chocoholic, amateur party planner, scrapbooker, crochet hobbyist, poorly-practiced-but-talented guitarist, babysitter, poet...
On my blog, I'm defined by blogger-author-teenager-Christian-girl. Many other categories pop up, but these are what define me. Variations of this and other combos define my on Facebook - on Twitter - at church - at home - to new acquaintances - to friends of friends. I am defined and categorized by these and other words.
I'm not saying defining words are bad. In fact, they're good and helpful and useful - even necessary. They're how we introduce others, introduce ourselves, help others to see if we're the right fit for a certain task or job, and explain why we do or don't do certain things. But some defining factors are harmful - to our emotions when others use them. To our character when we use them. To our reputation when they apply.
Slut. Slacker. Murderer. Thief. Rebel (in the traditional, anti-authority sense). Bully. The list goes on, with varying degrees of evil associated with each word.
So I ask again, what defines you?
Online... at home... at school... at work... at church?
To your friends... your enemies... strangers... acquaintances?
Peers... those above you... those below you?
What defines you?