He sat there, gloating upon a mushroom. He inhaled the fumes from a hookah and blew smoke rings in the air as he pompously asked Alice, “Whoooo are youuuuuu? Who was he to ask? Nothing more than a blue caterpillar with an attitude. Of course, Alice was taken back and confused, but when you’re asked the same question, what’s your reply? Who are you, really?
We wear all kinds of hats and masks in this life. Some might be farmers and work the soil, while others have their nails manicured once a week to impress others. Some wear crowns and others struggle to meet their budgets each month. There are those who wear several masks as they journey through this earth. A mom can also be a breadwinner, a cook, a laundress, a confidante, accountant, caretaker, wife, CEO and still have time to enjoy herself. Who are you?
In this time in history, we can choose to be a Pinterest person, with ideas galore – perfect homes – amazing desserts crafted to please the eye as well as the taste buds. Or we can display pictures of our world travels on Instagram and all the world will envy our good fortune. We may have a certain persona on Facebook which exaggerates who we really are or we may write a blog to encourage others while we’re fighting depression ourselves.
There are many facades we display in this life. Most of the time we hope to maintain a good reputation – a perfect life – intelligence – confidence and good vibes to others, but what happens when the truth about us comes out in a tweet, a photo, a word?
When we look in our mirror what do we see? Is it an ordinary face reflecting back at me? If we were to alter it and make it something it’s not, will that change the truth of who we are? It might, for a while, but who are we fooling with this false image?
Today we’re exposed to so much untruth. Fake news fills the air waves and printed word. We aren’t sure who is telling the truth anymore. The facts are often so clouded, we wouldn’t recognize the truth if it were staring us in the face. Our schools are filled with kids wearing braces to correct crooked teeth, undergoing plastic surgery and trying to decide what gender they are. Our workplaces are filled with folks trying to get ahead by bending the truth. We’re confused by who is who, not merely by the way they look, but how they live and behave. With the intensity of social media, what we say and do can have a great impact on how we are viewed by others.
Emily Dickenson wrote a little poem in an entirely different time and place, called “I’m Nobody. Who are you?”
I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!
How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!
Her thoughts seem to indicate that it’s much better to be anonymous than to be paraded about publicly. Maybe our electronic era has produced a generation of those who think they’re somebody, but are nothing more than someone hiding behind a mask. If we knew how very important we are to the One who created each of us, we would realize our worth. Even though unworthy, we have been made perfect through the unconditional love of an amazing God. Who are you?