Fall 2014

Redefining Ourselves… A Season For Breaking The Mold


“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter



We have all wondered, aloud…or silently to ourselves, what other people really think about us. Who do they think we are outside of the impressions we try to make? What is their measure of us beyond the polite expressions they demonstrate in our presence? These are a few of the questions that arise in the course of our conscious or subconscious reflections on the impact we are having in the world around us, and, more specifically, in the various relationships that define who we are in our world.

There are various factors that contribute to how we are seen by others. These include the immediately observable presentations of our lives such as our gender, our ethnicity, our physical attributes, and of course…the props which demonstrate our social and economic status or lack thereof. Not as immediately observable at times, but just as significant to some, are the facts about our genealogy and upbringing. Some people are interested to know, for example, if we “come from money”? They also want to know how much education we have had …and from where? And then there is, of course, the old adage about who we surround ourselves with. “Show me your company” it is said and we will tell you “who you are”.

Many are the challenges that we must overcome in our effort to navigate our way through the course of this life with its many twists and turns, not to mention its hills and valleys. These are exacerbated when the way we look and the other facts of our lives don’t add up to meet the various expectations of others. Be assured, there is nothing unique about our circumstance in this regard. Many remarkable persons…from Jesus of Nazareth to Bob Marley of Jamaica…have had to contend with these challenges.