“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.” –Lao-Tzu–
“Do you know yourself, Pepe?”
I was asked this question a few days ago by my French supervisor on the issue of my slumping work performance and pessimism about my future in the company.
I am not about to write a long blogpost to discern the answer (perhaps a decaffeinated fiction will do the trick sometime in the near future). Besides, I am not in the mood today to do so (because the phantom of sleep is slowly creeping up into my system). The question just bothers me like a pesky mosquito which does not go away. When my supervisor asked me this, I was caught unprepared and surprised. In retaliation, I threw him back his question. But he confidently replied, “Of course I know myself. And since I know myself, that has helped me to be confident with myself, it makes me happy about myself, I am able to accomplish so many tasks being thrown at me, and I don’t give a damn about what other people think of me.” He sounded so proud and so sure, as if brandishing a gold-plated award carved in granite.
Very good answer, though. Something that I could not say to myself. My supervisor is a nonbeliever in religion. And I heard from another colleague that he is an atheist. I find it so unfair. I am a Christian, and an ex-atheist at that. Yet I admit that I do not know who I am. While here in front of me is a proud atheist (or perhaps a deist, I’m not so sure yet), strongly declaring to my face that he knows himself.
Since then, I’ve been asking everybody (including my wife) about themselves, who they really are. I’ve been doing much extrospection even before, disregarding introspection due to, perhaps, a fear of knowing oneself. Because if I suddenly discover who I really am, I might not be able to handle it. Or I may not even like it.
“Who are you? How do you get to know yourself? What rewards did you get upon knowing yourself?” These are the questions I’ve been asking people around. But, said another colleague, the only person in the world who could know me better is, of course, myself, because I’ve been with myself for the longest time more than anybody else. Clever. So what should be my attitude towards this? Positive thinking? Ahaha. I already know what I want in life, for sure. But now, I’m starting to doubt if that is enough. I might not get there if I don’t even know who I am.
I am a Filipino; I know where I stand. I am a Christian; I know when to fly. But I do not know myself personally; that might compel me to die.
Nah, I’m just rhyming.
Just then, a few minutes ago, I found this Bible verse on a friend’s Facebook wall…
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:5-8
But no matter how hard I try to become saintly, that is virtually impossible if I continue to live amidst this libertine society we have.
Am I going crackers?
Good grief. I’m turning 31 this July. And I already have four kids. Yet I still think as if my brain’s a sponge being squeezed by some fag dishwasher. Oh, how nasty the hyperbole.
For the most part of my life, I’ve worn several masks, pretending to be someone else. Multiple identities. Different shades of myself. Most of them lies. I am not even so sure of myself anymore. Could this also mean that I do not like myself?
I think I am about to embark on another journey. I hope not; I have planned other journeys. And now this sh!t.
“We need help, the Poet reckoned.” –Edward Dorn–