What’s The Real You Like?

More accurately: What’s the real any of us like? Is each of us just one person, or are we all in fact a whole myriad of people depending on the other people and situations we’re reacting to, or even the time of year or the day of the week?

We like to think of ourselves as an individual and indeed we are just that, but is there anything constant about that one person? I’m not at all sure that there is. For instance, let’s take a real basic situation. Most of us probably like to think that we wouldn’t kill – I know that’s just not part of my make up in the normal scheme of things.

But what if the scheme of things is not normal? Many psychologists will say that we’re all capable of killing given the right circumstances and I think that’s almost totally true. I’m sure there are some that are so strongly pacifist that it’s unlikely they would do so, even to protect themselves or their family, but those people are few and far between and, personally, although I respect their right to their beliefs, I regard them as slightly nuts. The normal human instinct is to protect yourself and your own.

What if you and your offspring were trapped – prisoners – and you and, particularly your child are threatened with all sorts of vile horrors, perhaps indefinitely? A momentary lapse in the captor’s security occurs; it’s your one chance to save yourself and your child; the gun is on the table, you know it’s loaded, you can use a gun, a bit at least – all you have to do is pick it up and fire it straight into the middle of your captor’s back which is turned towards you. What would you do? I know what I’d do – I’d shoot the bastard and be happy I got the chance!

However, I feel sure that we change almost constantly in much more subtle ways than this, principally in order to suit differing situations and the people with whom we interact and how we feel about them. Of course our overriding beliefs, upbringing and instincts will modify how we behave with others, but so will the people themselves that we meet and the places and situations in which we find ourselves and most of us are in fact different people with different people.

I don’t want to get into an argument over religion, but what many refer to as a “soul” is to me more the mixture of instincts, self awareness, learned values from experience along with our excellent and often insightful imaginative abilities that all come as part of our human knowledge of self. That mixture forms the core of who we are, but the edges and boundaries of that are constantly changing as we go through life and, indeed, even the week.

As another instance of my argument, please just ask yourself this simple question: “Would I as easily and completely forgive someone I don’t like for an action that upset me, as I would someone I do like?” For me, much as I’d like to think otherwise, I’m pretty sure the answer is often a resounding “No!”

So, I’d like to come back to my statement that we like to think of ourselves as an individual. It’s comforting and most of us accept it most of the time. But, the minute you think of my definition of the “soul”, or something like it, to me it becomes obvious that each of us is not a “hard wired” individual, but more a core person whose almost every action and reaction is modified by a raging mess of hormones, chemicals and electro-chemical signals and external influences whizzing around inside us and the outcome of that – to put it mildly – is likely to be unpredictable!

Helps to make life interesting, though, doesn’t it? 🙂

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2 Responses to “What’s The Real You Like?”

  1. You know how to get a ‘discussion’ going, don’t you?!

    I don’t believe anyone knows what they would do in any given situation until they are faced with it. It’s fun to THINK we know what we would do, but maybe self-righteous to state it as fact. (Smiling yet?)

    I also don’t believe it’s hard to forgive people, whether you like them or no (barring extreme circumstances and then I’m not sure). Forgiveness results in putting down the ‘weight’ of bad feeling you have and moving forward freely. It’s more for the forgiver than the forgive-ee.

    I believe we are all unique, but we have commonalities: species, gender, race, religion, nationality, political, geographic, etc. The interesting part of that is that within any group of people, the commonalities ‘overlap’ in interesting, unique combinations. I believe I’m off the subject…sorry.

    And the ‘soul’ concept? I understand what you’re saying and I know others who agree…one is my son. We agree to disagree.

    The raging mass of hormone things? I believe it’s a case of your morals, values and specific circumstances that dictate how you will react at any given time.

    I always leave what’s tantamount to a blog post in your comment section. It makes me laugh…..

    • Um… Yes. Mostly agreed of course apart from the obvious we agree to disagree on 🙂

      The one place I suppose I’m not entirely with you is that, like you I think, I’m of the opinion that our morals and values do of course dictate how we behave, but I don’t think it’s ONLY the specific circumstances that modify that. Have you never been in a bad mood, or worried about something unconnected and snapped at a family member (such as Mr.PJ or your son for instance) and later thought “Why did I make so much fuss about that?” Surely it’s the same principle that makes us behave what we would regard as “out of character” in more important circumstances.

      Okay – the forgive bit: substitute pardon, ovelook, or even ignore for “forgive”. What about that, then? Ring any bells? Anyway – you’re just too nice for your own good 😆

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