Posted by: 2thdocbob | 23 October 2015

What Defines You?

Cameron Crazies

I have many friends who identify with sports teams, both college and professional. Many of them are fans in the truest sense of the word (originated from the word fanatic). Following games they speak of the team’s exploits in the first person plural (“we beat them,” etc.). Their identities, and often their moods and egos are tied up in their team and how it performs during a given game or a given season. They find themselves in a funk after a tough loss, but are on top of the world after a big win.10-3-saints-fans-3_4

Have you ever done that? Has a tough loss to a hated rival ever had you feeling down? And why is the rival even hated? Have you offended a friend or relative because they cheer for the “wrong team?” You probably have; unless you don’t follow sports at all. But I have seen similar animosities between fans of different musicians or actors, as well: it is not limited to sports fans.

This leads me to the question: “What defines you?”

Who are you? Deep down inside, who are you? What is it that makes you who you are?


Defining oneself as a Giants fan or a Lakers fan or an Aggie or a Longhorn is frequently a superficial identity. Yes, I have a doctoral degree from the University of Texas, and I’m proud of their teams, but that is not who I am. If you took that away, I would still be me.

What truly defines me goes to the core of who I really am. It touches on the broader perspective: an eternal perspective.

I am a Child of God, created in his image, with the divine potential to become as He is. That is the core of my being; it defines my essence. I am a son, a husband, a father, and now a grandfather. There are other items that define me as well: I am a Latter-day Saint, a Christian, a priesthood bearer, and one who has made sacred covenants with my God, and with my wife. If you strip away everything else, this is what remains; this is central to who I am.

There are many other things that people connect with me: I am a dentist, a teacher, a musician, a jazz and blues fan, an Eagle Scout, a curious person. But this is the veneer. These are my titles. my talents, my interests and my traits. These describe, but do not define.

My possessions, my activities, my choices, even my ZIP Code or area code do not define me. They simply describe me or what I do or where I do it.

How do you define yourself? What lies at the heart of your being? What is the foundation of who you are?

It is also important to build one’s identity on a solid foundation. Say what you will, but an identity as a Raiders fan or a Cubs fan is not an enduring foundation.

Choose your identity well. Ensure that others can see who you really are. Be true to your identity.

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