Monday, December 8, 2008

Mind Those P's and Q's (Part 2)

Now, I’m not trying to follow the crowd and start posting up results of personality quizzes just to fill up the empty spaces in my blog. It was just something to get the ball rolling (and my muses stirred up).

While I was just going around the net, I stumbled across this personality test, where all you need to do was to type in your name and apparently, they’ll decipher it in less than 10 seconds (more if your computer, like yours truly is crawling at snail pace). Naturally, I am curious as to what would appear on screen and I got this whole long essay which can be viewed in the previous post. As to how true it is, I leave it for you to decide as I’m not here to write about how accurate it is or otherwise.

Personality quizzes bombard us at every corner we turn these days. Open magazines and the titles scream, ‘FIND OUT WHAT IS YOUR SHOPPING PATTERN!’ or ‘WHAT KIND OF FRIEND ARE YOU’ or even ‘WHAT CHEWING GUM SUITS YOUR PERSONALITY’! Well, to be perfectly honest, it does appeal to me. And whether we admit it or not, most of us like to take these personality tests. It tickles us to see just how off base the results are or gape at how true it is. But then I wonder, what draws us to these quizzes? After all, they’re just options and unless you take reputable ones (such as DISC) chances are you’ve been duped into thinking that is your true personality when it isn’t. I believe the answer is rather straightforward.

The search for self identity.

Yes, we all want to know who we really are and what we are really like. After all, we want something that can identify ourselves in this world. We hope that there will be a trait so concrete that will stand firm in such a shaky world. Ask yourself, what would you answer if you were questioned who you really are? Though it seems like a very simple question, many are not able to answer. They rattle off their name, age, class (if you’re talking about school settings) and some idiosyncrasies (like I how I can’t stand McD but I go crazy over the smell of petrol). But as I think about it, none of it is truly concrete, isn’t it?

Take for example, music. Music is one of my passions and I do find it one of those traits that define who I am. Yet, if I were to lose my hands thus unable to play anything, would I still be the same Tze Quan? What if my name was something else, like Abigail or Clarice? Would I be the same person? What if everything I defined myself by was stripped away one by one, would I still be me? As I quote from Sayuri in Memoirs of a Geisha, if you no longer have leaves, or bark, or roots, can you go on calling yourself a tree?

It was rather frightening when I first thought of it as everything I listed down under Tze Quan could just be removed in a split second. Disconcerting, yes but a shake to myself as well. What was the one thing I could count on that would still remain despite trials and tribulations, despite whatever circumstances I will face, despite life? I don’t want to sit on my deathbed many years down the road contemplating who I have become, whether I have become anything at all. It’d be such a waste, wouldn’t it to fritter my whole life away on something so impermanent that a puff of wind will blow it away.

And then it finally stuck me. Everything I had listed down was physical and we all know the physical never lasts. Just as when we die, we return to the dust we were made from, it’s the same with everything earthly we define ourselves by. So then, after all is said and done, what can I say I am, without fear that it’ll be taken away from me, without shame that it will change anytime?

Simple. I am a child of God. And nobody, not a single one can take that away from me.

I know some of those reading this may think that you’re too young to make any kind of life reflections but, you’re never too young to start thinking about who you really are. After all, if you find out early, what will you have to lose? Nothing is lost, but everything to gain.

And that’s why I say, I am who I am, because of who God is.

No comments: