We live in a world with incredible avenues for information: TV, print, our phones, computers, electronic tablets. But we get other, and I believe more valuable information, from people. How people behave tells us about them, and about the general world we inhabit. Ultimately we learn about ourselves as well.
I don’t know about you, but there are times when I behave one way, while other times quite differently. This also seems to be true for others. We see others in one context and then we are astonished to see a very different person in a new environment.
My own grandmother was a case in point. To the uninitiated, she seemed very straitlaced, rather stiff, without a lot of zip, verve or pizzazz. My eyes were opened to a wholly different and astonishing side of her when I realized she was a devoted fan of Friday night wrestling.
My grandmother – the opera and symphony buff- was transformed into a zealot about wrestling. I never found out where this unexpected appetite for the sport came from, but it was genuine. In fact, it was as genuine as the opera buff persona. And yet what contrasts. This taught me that many of us have different ‘skins’ depending on where we are.
It is sort of like how we behave when we are all dressed up and going out. We walk and talk differently. We know we are on parade. And what if others have expectations for us about our externalities? Our parents probably made it clear how we were to behave in particular circumstances, and so we either conformed or we didn’t, but we knew there was a ‘view’ expected of us.
The lesson from all this is that I learned it is normal to be multi faceted. To have various expressions of you, the individual. We aren’t going to be confined in a box. And I have learned the only way to direct our destiny…is to be the person we want to be.
We don’t want to direct our destiny toward being someone else. I remember as a kid being fascinated by those cylinders which you could twist and jumbled colors would fall into amazing shapes. We are like those people. Twist us one way, and we appear one dimensional. Twist us another way and we are wholly different.
We should celebrate and embrace our abilities to be multi faceted. As we observe others with their fascinating personalities, so will others observe us. These lessons about us and others come from everywhere, if we simply are open to seeing. What have you seen that reminds you of this?