Three Ideas that Explain Who You Are
1: You are the product of your genetic code, hardwired to behave in certain ways.
2: You are the product of your environment, the sum total of your influences.
3: You are the product of your choices. It is your preferences, not your surroundings, that define you.
I believe it is a mistake to cling too tightly to any of these 3 ideas. Each of them is true, I think, but not to the exclusion of the other two.
The first explanation of you is biological.
The second explanation of you is sociological.
The third explanation of you is theological.
You don’t get to choose your DNA.
You don’t get to choose how or where you spend your early childhood years.
You do get to choose what you do next.
I say these things to you because you are staring into the mirror of a brand-new year; so new that you can still smell the vinyl upholstery.
I see your future clearly. Shall I tell you about it?
Things will happen to you that are beyond your control. A few of these will be bad. But why worry? They are beyond your control. You have no power to change these things, no matter how well you worry.
Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
– Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, from his book, Meditations, published in 200 A.D.
True happiness is to enjoy the present without anxious dependence on the future.”
– Lucius Annaeus Seneca, (4 B.C. – 65 A.D.)
Yes, things will happen to you that are beyond your control. But most of these will be good things. Do not take them for granted, but anchor yourself in these daily moments of serendipity. Let them speak to you of the joy of living.
- You will step outside just in time to see the afternoon sky melt into the red, orange and gold of autumn leaves.
- You will be contacted by an old friend you had been thinking about calling.
- You will have the opportunity to play with a puppy.
- You will order a dish you’ve never had and be amazed at the interplay of flavors and spices.
- You will be paid a true compliment by a stranger.
- You will be given the opportunity to make a big difference in the life of someone else, and it will be within your power to say, “Yes.”
- You will look into the face of an infant, and it will smile at you.
- You will discover a short-cut that saves you time and trouble.
- You will talk to empty air and know that you have been heard.
- You will have a happy, new year.
These good things, and many hundreds of others like them, are waiting for you, just ahead.
Roy H. Williams