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Thursday, 29 December 2011

What Defines You?

They say that “reading maketh a man” well, that is true, for whether you are man or a woman, reading will increase your knowledge base. Reading helps you to gain more insights on various topics and even gives you a better grasp of concepts that others might not even have a clue about. Also, as you read, you will come across new words and you may have to use a dictionary to search for their definitions. This is why those who want to learn new words should read with a dictionary close at hand. Can you imagine if you learnt a new word every day, beginning on the first day of January? At the end of the year you would have added three hundred and sixty-five words to your vocabulary! That would be impressive, don’t you agree? I invite you to take up the challenge.

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What defines you? [image from realmagick.com]

Don’t be afraid of challenges. Life is punctuated by them and the quicker you learn to overcome them, the stronger you will become. On Sunday, November 13, 2011, the Gleaner carried a story outlining the fact that the Prime Minister’s wife was ready to attempt an ambitious challenge- the launch of a project to help street boys. As I read about the project, and comments she made in several interviews, something struck me. During her interview she was asked about her preferred type of clothing and in responding the Prime Minister’s wife posited that her clothes did not define her. Perhaps her comment stood out in my mind because moments before I was reading another online article about a project in the United States of America. In this overseas project, celebrities were invited into schools to read  to young children. This created a furor in one state because a particular school invited a movie star who had previously done some questionable work posing for a popular magazine. Trust me on this; the poses were not the kinds that your grandmother would be proud of.  When the celebrity was interviewed about her take on the issue, she said that she was now making normal movies and the photos or poses did not define her. After reading these two articles back to back, I laughed out loud at the coincidence. However, for the rest of the day I started thinking seriously about what really defined people. What defined me, I thought?

Let me ask you the question, what defines you? Is it your financial status that defines who you are? Is it your high grade point average or is it your intellectual abilities and material gains?  I would hope that your response is none of the above. Although my question to you might be rhetorical; you must be clear of your purpose and meaning in life. You must be clear on what you stand for - or in other words - what defines you.       
While your ‘definition’ is your prerogative, here are some points to consider as you mull over the question.   
  • You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
  • You were bought with a price, (1 Corinthians 6:20).  
  • You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9).
  • You are a peculiar people unto me above all people (Exodus 19:5).
  • You are the apple of mine eyes says the Lord (Zachariah 2:5).
  • You were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
Let me close by reminding you that what defines you should not be what defines the common man, for you are not common; you are a special. Whatever defines you should please your Heavenly Father. He should be proud of your actions and thoughts, and should be delighted with all that you do.   

Jacqueline Champier
Instructor, Department of Behavioural Sciences