As human beings we tend to be haunted by a few existential crises in our lives. One of the questions that can pose great difficulty is “Who would you be if you could live any life you wanted?” No trading with famous people now, that’s cheating. Instead think of all of human history, the paths we could have had. Don’t worry about gender or race, you could be anything. Would you be a pirate on the high seas? Calling no man your master and living by an unusual code of wants and impulse? How about the life of a philosopher in Renaissance Italy? To be surrounded by the greatest minds, exponential growth in learning and discovery. Each path has choices, each with their own gains and losses.
I’m not ashamed to say I’ve always leaned towards a knight. A life characterized by a belief of honor, with the more outlandish idea being saving those in distress. I know, I know, a dangerous fantasy for those in social work. It’s always saddened me that our word is no longer tied to who we are, that integrity is a forgotten concept in determining a person’s character. Few will rally behind a cause, even one they believe in.
Since we can’t go back in time, or change our lives too drastically, there is another way to combat that crisis. Find out what it is about that life that appeals to you and incorporate it into your life. The world might not hold honor in high-esteem any longer, but you can. There might not be a quest, or an oath made in front of others, but living your life by a code is possible. Have the good reputation, be a relic in a modern age.
So, who will you be?
By: Courtney Kidd, LMSW
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