The Quest: part one

I now want to begin a series of articles about something I’m going to call: “The Quest.”

It begins with questions, the first of which is “who am I?”

What I believe about the answer to this question is still coming together, but I can explain a little. The first thing we search for is identity. Identity comes in two parts, the first is “Am I loved?” And the second is “Why or why not?” But we’ll cover that more in the next issue, for now I want to focus on the right source of identity. The truth is, most of us look to our parents or other close family members to tell us the answer, and later to our friends. It makes sense that we should do this; they are the closest to us, and they know us the best, right? Um… not so much. When it comes to identity we have a little problem if we expect to get ours from other people. People are human, the same as us. True, some seem better than others, ( i.e. more together,) but then we find out they feel just as we do. It’s a fact that a ton of people are insecure and feel like oddballs. Some of us make oddball our identity in hopes that no one will hurt us again. Now this is not an article about psychology, but when talking about identity, it’s kind of unavoidable. The trouble is, people are not cases to study. No two of us are alike. We know that scientific conclusions are not always right, and that doctors make mistakes. It just goes to show that no matter how educated they are, human beings still do not have all the answers. I don’t. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, I think you’ll have to agree that identity is extremely different if you only look to this world. The world tells you that you are an asset. Work to earn your keep. If you lose the ability to work the world does not pity you but merely finds someone else to do your job, therefore, you’re replaceable. On a personal, person to person level, why does it seem like no matter who you turn to for what you need, they all want there to be something in it for them? The trade off: “I did something for you so you should do something for me.” That’s fair, but somehow it takes value away from any act of kindness to know you’re expected to repay, but then, it’s the way of all flesh. Don’t you feel irked if you are nice to someone and the person doesn’t even acknowledge what you did? It seems people cannot even help being this way. I don’t know what the modern term for it is, but it used to be called selfishness and to be considered a flaw in the character; and we are all infected with the same flaw, only no one ever wishes to admit it. “People are selfish,” many a cynical person has said, but far fewer are willing to add “including me.” Now some will tell you this is a mental condition, and I agree, it affects your mind as well. But what I mean to show is why no human can tell another just who they are because we are all so flawed. So, if we can’t, who can? Now we move on to my turf. If we want to know who and what we are then we must go to something greater than ourselves to find out. Per example: A man can know what a dog is and is like, but the dog itself will never know except from how the master treats it. I don’t think any political or even religious system can answer, either, being that even there you will be dealing with other people. No, what we need is actually something that is not human but cares and sympathizes with humans. Of course our word for this is God. I’m posing a question: if God is real, then he must know more than we do. If he is not, then do we have any identity at all? No God means man is the highest thing out there, we get to decide what we are, and through history, people such as Hitler and many of the Roman Caesars and Egyptian Pharaohs decided  they were gods. But at what irony. Do you know that you cannot make your own heart beat..? We are all born into this life by no cause of our own, and we cannot evade death forever. We are held on to this earth by a force we cannot control (called gravity), and we live in an universe surrounded by planets and solar systems we cannot move, nor can we even reach the ones on other galaxies. To say all this was an accident is ludicrous. A single cell in a human body is more complex than a space shuttle, yet they all work together. I’ve yet to hear of a fleet of space ships (though I’ve seen one on Star Wars). We are not gods, no, whatever else we are. I won’t argue any further for God’s existence at the moment; I am just going to assume he exists to make my point. God made us, and he made us with the ability to wonder about our world and ourselves in a way no other creature does. I’d move then, that humans must be more than just another creature. We are self aware. God, of course, is self aware, any religion will tell you that, but not all will point out that God gave man that trait; He also gave man a conscience, by which man is supposed to know what God wants him to do; even though consciences can be dulled or twisted; what other creature has such a keen sense of justice as man? Men will argue over who this or that rightly belongs to, animals will just take it. Man is also creative, unlike any other creature. I believe man is this way because he is made in God’s image. You may wonder what that means, and in all honestly I’m not sure I know. But I think in my next article I can begin to explore the idea. For now, that is today’s truth. “Who am I?” “I am made in the image of God.” Seriously, who would want to not believe that?

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