There are certainly things which define us. Things which impact the way we think, our worldview, the way we respond to life, our decision, our actions. These things often define the way others see us as well, because they define how we live our lives. Which begs the question, are we aware of how others see us?
How others perceive us isn’t important in and of itself – others opinions are only useful when they inspire us to be a better version of ourselves. However, (and this is where my question comes from), I have noticed recently that I have become increasingly frustrated with people I perceive as one dimensional. People I find too easy to define.
I need to put in a little disclaimer here – I realise that God has blessed me with many interests, and that not all people have the same amount of interests – so in no way am I trying to impose my personality on others. Having said that, I do struggle to believe that there are people who have only one single interest/passion in life. I believe God has created us in His image – the image of a creative God. Creativity is not one dimensional. Ever.
So, here’s my question for you – a reader who somehow stumbled upon this here little post. Is it okay if people can define you simply by a single activity that they perceive defines you? Are you living life passionately enough for people to know you as more than just a guitarist? More than just a teacher? More than just a photographer? More than just a pastor? More than just a [insert your potential one-dimensional activity].
Obviously we all have a dominant trait/activity that will be people’s focal point. I’m not undermining that or being oblivious to it. I am a pastor. That’s my main activity. People would first and foremost define me as such (let’s not get onto the subject of “what I do is not who I am” – that’s for another day). But I’m also a media guy. A student. A writer. A web designer. A photographer (albeit not an amazing one). A muso. All of these, together, will help you understand who I am.
The responsibility is therefore on me to let you in. I need to let you know that I am more than just a pastor (or media guy, if you only happen to know me from SA Idols). The onus is on me to live life in a way that you can never see me as one dimensional. And conversely, on you to live in a way that I can’t accuse you of being one-dimensional (by that, you may want to read boring).
I can handle most people in life – but if you speak about the same things all the time, tweet about your one hobby/job all the time, I’m going to struggle.
However, this is just my opinion. Like I said – other people’s opinions (mine included) are only useful when they inspire us to live life better. If my rambling has done that – awesome. If not – may I apologise for wasting the last few minutes of your life. You may want to check out a few of the blogs I recommend… they won’t waste your time.