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“Who are you”

August 2, 2023

There is a great older song by the Temptations “Who are you today”
“Monday, you sent me flowers. Tuesday, made me feel stupid. Wednesday, the world was ours
Thursday, you didn't prove it. Friday, fell back in love. Saturday, we didn't talk. Sunday, you said you needed space.
Who are you today?
Will you be the sun or the pouring rain?
Who are you tomorrow?
Will you make me smile or just bring me sorrow?
Who are you gonna be when I'm lost and I'm scared?
Who are you gonna be when there's nobody there?
Who are you today?”

We live in a world where we each carry a number of personas, there is the Linked-In version of us that makes us look professional, and the Tick-Tuck version that shares our personal story, and Facebook that connect us with people and events. And then there is the ‘live’ version that depends on the people we are are around. And often those personas really don’t match up with who you really are. Our lives have become theater roles that we step into and out of.

I recently came across the phrase “being privately engaged but socially irrelevant” As I pondered this phrase I thought about the many personas we live out in a single day and how difficult it is to live a life of integrity and focus. Working in the non-profit world, I see some groups telling one story and living out another. Where they may have a good grant writer that can tell a great story, but the use of the grant is not congruent with the actual work that is being done. While I see other groups doing amazing work and yet don’t get the acknowledgement because they don’t toot their own horn. I see people in politics say one thing but living as the rules don’t apply to them. I see people wanting ‘justice for all’ but failing to let it really happen to everyone. I see parents setting standards for other children but not living it out in their own homes.

We expect things from other people, but don’t want to live it out ourselves. While at other times people do good things but only for a few select others and it is really socially irrelevant and might even in the long term harm people more then help them. Like feeding the homeless instead of assistance exiting programs and helping people move forward. Giving out a bag of groceries without looking at the deeper issues of poverty. Complaining about schools but not engaging to make a difference. Talking against slavery but owning an Apple cellphone. Going to church on Sunday but watching porn the rest of the week.

We have to be privately engaged and socially relevant to make a better world in Merced and around the world. Who are you today? Who am I today?

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