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Who Are
You?
By: Lohgann Wilson
The names have been changed of the subject who
were interviewed. These are the personal
accounts of real people. As you are reading other
peoples accounts, I challenge you to think if you
can answer these same questions.
The only words of the author were the questions
asked.
So many people distract themselves with
drugs, food, sex, money, shopping, instead of
sitting in solitude and learning who they
actually are. It makes people uncomfortable to
look inward.
-Serene
Who are you?
Caesar
No, I cannot tell you who I am, it is just what
everybody is, it is your form of identity.
You have to have materials to have an identity.
When someone dies I don’t really care, It is easier to
understand a person when they aren’t making
history.
Gianna
I’m searching for my purpose. I don’t know who I am
yet, I am still trying to figure that out. But I know
what I want to be.
Serene
Yes, I can tell you who I am without all of that I am a
human.
Steven.
Me. That’s who I am. Nothing more nothing less.
Just me.
How do you describe yourself?
Young
Dumb
Energetic sometimes
Honest
Wander.
Someone who likes to be alone.
Trying to find my way.
GIANNA
Happy
open
Passionate
Reserved
More spiritual than religious
--relationship with God
Serene
Feminist
Social liberal
Teacher
Positive person
Loving
Caring
Steven
Humble
Funny at times.
Family oriented
Kind hearted
Respectful
How do your surroundings
affect how you define
yourself?
CAESAR
Your surroundings make you who you are, you
aren’t you are without your surroundings. Your
surroundings form you.
Trying to prove someone wrong is you caring too
much about what that person thinks about you.
You need to find a middle passage.
GIANNA
I’ve only been exposed to black culture. Based on
the stuff that parents exposed me to, my friend
group. I associate myself with being Black and
not African American.
SERENE
I’ve learned to let the positive factor into my
definition of myself. As a loving caring person who
is a good educator. I take in the negative things
that people use to define me and take them in with
a grain of salt. In my heart, I know that I am a
good person and I try to live that. I am less likely
to let negative people, and negative opinions of me
define how I see myself.
STEVEN
I am a happy person who doesn’t like to be around
negative people. Negative people, they make me
negative. All they do is complain and life is too
short for that.
What are you here for?
CAESAR
To die, and have fun.
GIANNA
I am here on this earth to make people happy in
some sort of way. I am here to positively impact
someone's life. One Smile a day is my motto
SERENE
Here to love, show compassion, and be
compassionate to people who might not always get
that or, people who are not mainstream or in the
mainstream. Advocate for living beings
STEVEN
To serve mankind. Supposed to help people, that
what I have been doing for the last 30 years.
What is your purpose?
Caesar
To be dead. I need to help myself before I can help the
kids.
If you are searching for something it is something that
you aren’t.
If you are stagnant and you are happy you will probably
get depressed.
Gianna
A smile a day. I don’t know where I am taking my
experiences from earth. Each day I am experiencing
something new each day. I am supposed to use that to
grow and impact others.
--A satisfied soul when I leave earth.
Don't know my purpose but if my soul is satisfied I did
the right thing.
Serene
My purpose falls into a caregiver category. To take care
of the people that I value, and show people how much
they mean. Always recognize the positive. The loudest
voice in the room most of the time, is the negative
one. Maintain positivity and recognize the good in people
and more than the bad.
Steven
My purpose I believe is to help people. To be a leader not
a follower.
What is the age that you
knew who you are?
Caesar
At a young age I was told who I was.
Gianna
I don't know who I am, and I don’t know what age
that I am going to know. Will you ever know who
you are? We have perceptions of who we think we
are, but the real challenge is do our perceptions
of ourselves match up with other peoples
perceptions of us. Live as the person that I want
to be and that is what will become.
Serene
Everyday is a new discovery, a different layer of
discovery of self. Growth as a human being is a
never ending journey of trying to be the best self.
My idea of being my best self changes.
Steven
The day that I quit Perkins, and people were
standing there with there mouths open waiting to
be served. Realized then I wasn’t meant to be a
restaurant manager, but to serve. That was age
23.
Why does it matter what
you aren’t?
Caesar
Society makes it matter. It is another label, to
make it easier to identify you. You have to
know what you aren’t so you don’t embarrass
yourself.
Gianna
It matters who we aren’t but not necessarily
someone we don't want to be because it is not
apart of us. It does not contribute to who we
are. It shows us who we don’t want to be, and
makes us different. Even the things that you
aren’t, gives us aspiration for who we want to
be. Can say that I am not artist, but gives us a
goal. The positive thing we aren’t sets goals.
Serene
When it comes to negative things disassociate
yourself with that. When it comes to putting
yourself down, it can be heard. Had a struggle
with enough, not a different race to be some of
those rolls. You are always not something else,
you can either strive to be that or you can just
accept yourself with what you have.
Steven
People can think what they want to think,I
don’t care. I can’t change who I am. I doesn't
matter because people are going to think what
hey want. People will always say what they
want to say about somebody. They aren’t
paying bills, they didn’t put this roof over my
head, so they can say what they want to say.
Why does it matter who you
are and what you are?
Caesar
You need a label. Know what you can and cannot
do. I know I can’t do good in school. Know who
you are so you do not get lost. You can help
yourself.
Gianna
Does it really matter? Matters because it
impacts interactions with other people.If nobody
was bathing. If we didn’t give labels to certain
people there would be non one for us to aspire to
be. No labels on anything wouldn’t be any label. A
label provides foundation of who you are. It is in
away of conforming, but they provide a
foundation of who you are.
Serene
Knowing who you are helps one to live their right
path in life. When you know what you stand for
you know what you love what important to you,
you are less tempted to not live your truth.
Steven
Because I believe that I can make a difference in
people's lives. I believe that I can change people,
and help people who are less fortunate than me.
People have to trust me, and know that I am too
legit to quit.
What age did people tell
you who you are?
Caesar
When I was four
It started off innocent, but then it became a
bad thing. With people telling you who you
have to be.
Gianna
When I was born.
Serene
From the moment I was born, a sister, a
daughter, a girl, blue eyed. From day one people
like to label and put things in boxes, to
categorize their brains. We are fed messages
from the moment that we are born.
Steven
I was eight. Taking a trip, and my dad was
driving all night, pulled up to a hotel said it was
vacant. They told my dad that they were in fact
not vacant, that they didn’t have any rooms
left, they were full. But there were no cars in
the lot. My dad drove away, and the sign came
back on and said vacant again. I knew then that
I was black. No blacks allowed.
Are People born with
insecurities?
Caesar
You can’t be born with insecurities.
Gianna
No, you aren’t born with anything. Insecurities are a
side effect of being labeled by society.
Serene
No I don't think so. I think society and being told what
you are, and how difficult that may be if you don’t
want to be within the label that you are given.
Steven
No, because they are taught that. They are taught how
to be insecure. They are taught from birth until they
age that they reach. If someone tells you that you are a
loser until the day that you are born up until the age of
18, most likely live that, you will become that. A loser.
When you are alone who
are you?
Caesar
I think I am the same guy except a lot more
weird, I’m not anybody. You can’t really see
who you are unless you talk to yourself a lot.
Gianna
I am nobody without somebody. People are
nobody without someone. If you have no
interaction then what are you here on earth to
do, that isn’t a life. An empty vessel, no body
without other people, a host. From birth you
are connected to something, then you go to
school, it’s contact with someone from birth.
Serene
I am contemplative. Connected, comfortable.
Aware of myself worth. Loving towards myself
most of the time.
Steven
I am me, just me that’s who I am.
Phones contribute to who you
are?
Caesar
It easier to get addicted. It’s hard for us to talk to other
people. It’s harder for us to find out who we are.
Whoever is doing what you are doing is how you find
your friend group.
Gianna
Phones allow us to talk to people, give way to
insecurity. Comparisons. A blessing and a curse, allows
you to develop insecurities. It’s like a drug, can be good
at first but if it abused it can be deadly. Have to be
content with yourself sometime,some say
Serene
Being an introverted person phones are an easier way
for me to interact with the world, versus me physically
having to be with people. Make me more introverted,
less likely to call someone having texted. If didn’t have
a phone to call or text versus going to a movie with
people.
Steven
Phones take away from family time, and we are missing
the true value of life. That’s essentially living. Time is
very precious. We are so wrapped up in our phone that
we forget that time is precious.
Why do labels matter?
Caesar
To distinguish, friend and foe. Meant for people.
Can’t label something that already has a name.
Serene
Labels are a way for human beings to categorize
the information that the world gives us. It's
easiest to put people into categories and so they
can think about the information quickly and
easily instead of its entirety.
Steven
I personally don’t think that it matters. My
blood is the same color as yours, I will bleed
just like you bleed red. People get so wrapped in
color, gender, we are human, two species in the
world that will kill each and hurt bodily harm for
no reason at all is humans and chimpanzees.
Do labels set people back from who they really
are?
Do labels set people back from the person that
they could become ?
Caesar
People do that themselves. If you care that much about a label
then it is your fault. You can be labeled something but you
don’t have to let that stop you.
Gianna
Yes, if you are labeled as a problem child, you begin to see
yourself as a problem child. Labels are positive, and give us
aspirations on who we want to be. The labels that you set for
yourself are more healthier than the labels that other people give
us.
Serene
They can, it depends on the person. Look at people who came
up with nothing, maybe that influenced them to not be poor, and
made them work harder. Labels can hold you back or propel
you forward depending upon your personal mentality in life.
Steven
No, sticks and stones may break my bones but words will
never hurt me. I’m going to be the man in charge. People can
say what they want to say. But then other, do care what people
think of them, that’s why they commit suicide, become
depressed, so worried about what other people are thinking of
them.
If you were blind how would
your world be different?
Caesar
I would be more open to people, and a lot more ignorant.
I wouldn’t see what is going on.
Gianna
I would still be able to talk, just wouldn’t be able to talk.
Life would be different. The true essence of me wouldn’t
be any different. Vision isn’t everything. True happiness
comes from human contact and human relations
Serene
I would miss a lot, we are in autumn right now and to
miss seeing the leaves change, driving through the
country and seeing tall grass and the wind blowing.
What else would you appreciate, not being able to see in
sun hitting but able to feel the sun hitting. Feeling the
difference in the breeze. The natural world. In terms of
people, maybe it would be freeing, maybe it would be
hard because not everyone is good. Not being able to
see a person's facial expression. You would be missing
some of the connection with what a human really is.
Steven
It would be real different. I wouldn't be able to hunt, fish,
would miss a lot of things that I used to do.
What is your message to the
world?
Caesar
Do whatever you want, because it does it matter. Life is
not real. You are going to die anyway. Don’t be afraid,
we'll actually be afraid to be yourself because society
doesn’t like that.
Find someone to be like.
Gianna
Even though society sets standards, you have an internal
moral compass to guide you. The decisions we make on
earth in your mind have impact on other people. You
should do what makes you happy, in a way that makes
other people happy, but in a way that isn’t disrespectful.
Serene
What’s inside is far more important than what is outside.
The impact that you make on people's lives will stick far
more than you can comprehend. Deep down we know
our inner truth, but we let society destroy that. You
create your reality. A positive impact is the best soul food
that you can have in my opinion.
--Don’t compare yourself to others, don’t let anyone else
define you.
Steven
Live, love, and truly laugh. There is no do overs in life,
and there is no over time. We only have one shot. So live
love and truly laugh. That’s it, hit right on the nail with
that right now.