Who Are YOU?


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Who are you? What do you stand for?


 ďA person who stands for nothing will fall for anything.Ē
Malcolm X

As we begin this year of Senior Religion, in which you will be challenged to resolve moral dilemmas (both personal and societal)
take stands on current issues, please read the following essay, and determine the level to which you actually do:
Know Yourself and What You Stand For.

by Lola Adesioye

What do you stand for? Do you know? Do you know what youíre about?

Most people do not. Most people have NO idea. Most people know who their parents think they are, or their friends think they are, or some title that someone else gave them, but who are you for you?

This is a VERY important question that only you can answer for yourself. If you are living a life that is not the one you would really like to live, itís imperative that you find the answer to that question. Otherwise you will continue to be blown in the wind by the agendas and desires of those around you, who are clear on who they would like for you to be.

Being yourself is the hardest thing that any human being has to do in life. I believe it is the job of every human being. Standing for yourself when others around you donít agree or donít believe what you believe is the mark of true strength. Being able to say no when everyone else is saying yes, or to say yes when others say no is not easy.

Years ago I read a book called Hitlerís Willing Executioners. It was about all of the everyday people Ė supposedly right thinking people and some of them very educated Ė who joined the Nazis in millions to participate in the death and destruction of Jewish people. The book asks why they did this?

Iíll tell you why. Those people didnít know who they were. They didnít know what they stood for. They didnít know what they were committed to or valued or what values constituted their being. If they had known this, very few would have joined in. They would have gone within, asked if killing others fits in with their beliefs and most likely said no.

When you donít know who you really are or what you stand for, you will fall for anything. You will join in any group because you want to be one of the crowd. You will hurt yourself to have the acceptance, approval and agreement of others in the crowd. You will follow like a sheep because you are too afraid to stand alone. Many people join groups and participate in group-think with absolutely no real idea of what the agenda of that group (or whoever controls the group) is. That is nothing short of foolish.

And donít think itís just as serious as people joining anti-semitic groups. What about when you join in with people and gossip about someone you know, even though in your heart it makes you feel queasy? What about when you find yourself staying quiet at work when you can see someone being ill-treated? It happens all the time, to lesser and larger degrees. It happens in families, in the workplace, in social groups, at school, and out on the street.

When you are clear and certain about yourself, you can withstand any trial. It may be hard, it may seem impossible but what drives you is that rock inside you. What drives you is that certainty that Ďno, even though it may be easier, I KNOW who I am and what I stand forí.

So ask yourself today Ďwho am I?í. Find out what you stand for. What would you die for?

Iím committed to freedom for myself and others. As far as Iím concerned, every single person on this earth has the right of self-determination and the freedom to be who they really are. We have a right to be free from the shackles of mental enslavement and the lies and propaganda that are pumped out to us from all angles every single day. We have a right to be the masters of our own destiny and to pursue our inner visions, live out our talents, abilities and gifts.

This is something that has me do things that others many others wouldnít do. This is what has me say NO and walk away, without a look back or a second thought, from situations or people that may compromise my core values. It has me take risks that require me to stretch beyond what I thought was possible, such as leaving behind friends and family and moving to a new country to begin a life from scratch.

What about you? Thereís a great quote which says Ďshape your world or someone else will shape it for youí. We live in a world of systems and pre-existing structures that will be more than happy to swallow you up if you so allow. Maybe those are systems that youíd like to join and be part of. But at least do it out of CHOICE. A choice based on the knowledge of your own values, your own personal commitment and what you have determined that your life is about.

Donít blindly follow the herd. Find your own inner north star, determine your commitment, and use that as your life guide.


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