“When you get your ‘Who am I?’ questions right, all the ‘What should I do?’ questions tend to take care of themselves.”
Richard Rohr, Falling Upward, p. 6
It seems that too often in trying to answer “Who am I?” we resort to discussions of what we do, or what we hope to do. How often were we asked as we were growing up, “So, what do you want to be when you grow up?” This question is really a variation on the “What do you want to do ?” question. It’s not a bad question in and of itself, but it’s certainly not the only question.
Join a group of adults in conversation and often they’ll introduce themselves in terms of what they do – their occupation, business, etc. Get to know a person better and, hopefully, you’ll get past “What do you do?” and enter the realm of “Who are you?”
I wonder how our children would answer if they were asked, “So, what kind of person do you hope to be when you grow up?” In my experience, the answer to this second question is far more important than the answer to the first one.
Gina and I are blessed to have a little girl living with us. She’s a foster child who will very likely become our adopted daugther down the road. She is five. Hers has not been an easy path. My hope, should I be privileged and challenged to walk with her for the rest of my life, is that I will spend far more time on the “What sort of person do you hope to be?” question than the “What do you want to do?” question.