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Nine letters, two spaces, and a question mark

Who are you? Nine letters, two spaces, and a question mark. It occurred to me as I was leaving the Fitness Center. From what and where did the question arise to my consciousness? A lot of potential answers, I suppose, as to the origin of the question, “Who are you?”   But, I forced myself to not deviate, at least right now.

“Who are you?” The question was brief and direct. Other times, I was asked the question by someone else. But this time I was asking myself. “Who are you, Vernon?” – Nine letters, two spaces, and a question mark.

In a torrent of thoughts, multiple answers came rushing to mind. And many questions also began to flood my consciousness. How much should I reveal? How much can I trust other people when answering, “Who are you?” How much history is involved when answering “Who are you?” Does the answer include my motivations, my dreams, my failures, (and which of my failures since there are so many?) my impressions of others, my frustrations, my successes (but what are the reasons to consider something a success?), my income tax reports?, my Curriculum Vitae?, what I think other people would say about me if asked ‘who is Vernon?’ (regardless of the rightness or wrongness of their answers to these questions since I suspect their answers would impact how they have treated me and thus how I have responded to them), my limitations (physical, mental, social, psychological, spiritual), how do you employ your time? To what degree are you fearful, and if so, fearful of what and/or whom?   AND, this is just a starter list!!!

Yes, who am I?

We frequently ask the question to other folk. For example, in my online courses, I commonly ask students in the first week of the course, to introduce themselves to their classmates, using a threaded discussion format. I suggest several options or parameters for them. Some students are very brief. Others are verbose. I can’t help but ask myself (but not them), “Why did they respond in the way they did?

Three little words – “Who are you?” Nine letters, two spaces, and a question mark. When did you last ask yourself that question? And, as importantly, when did you attempt to answer it? And, even more importantly, why might you not want to go there???