December 14

Today's quotation:

No person can wear one face to him- or herself
and another to the multitude without finally
getting bewildered as to which may be true.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Today's Meditation:

The question of who we are to ourselves versus who we are to other people is an important one to consider.  We've all known the people who think themselves to be kind and considerate and well-loved, never suspecting that most other people can't stand them or the things they do.  We've seen and met the people who quite hypocritically say that they're one thing and act like something else.  It's not pleasant for us to witness this, and it does not lead to a pleasant life for people who act this way.

If we're going to be true, it's important that we're first of all true to ourselves, and then true to the other people in our lives.  In order for both of these conditions to be met, there must be congruence between the face that we put on for ourselves and that we put on for others.  We must make sure that we're not lying, that we're being truthful both to ourselves and to other people.  Otherwise, we will reach a point at which we're not quite sure just which person we are truly, for the faces we've presented are not of the same people.

So who are you?  Are you the person who talks to a young child, the person who makes jokes with co-workers, the person who talks tenderly to his or her spouse, or the person who's frustrated in line at the bank?  If we take care to be honest at all times, then each of these people will be consistently you.  If we insist on playing roles and allowing our actions and thoughts to change depending on which people we're with, then it will be very hard to be sure of just which one is the true us.

We can confuse ourselves, or we can be true and never doubt just who or what we are.  And doesn't it sound better to live without confusion simply because we've chosen to be honest always, to everyone? 

Questions to consider:

What different kinds of faces do you show to the world?

How do we get into the habit of showing different kinds of faces?  Why do we tend to maintain the habit?

How can we develop the habit of presenting congruency in who we are at different times?

For further thought:

I have never been aware before how many faces there are.
There are quantities of human beings, but there are
many more faces, for each person has several.

Rainer Maria Rilke

  
  

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