What Defines You?

If you are at any kind of social event where you will meet new people, one of the first things to be asked always seems to be, “So, what do you do?” I understand it is a conversation starter and usually I spend a few minutes trying to explain what it is I actually do for the company I work for, which usually leads into the person moving on to someone else, or I get the glazed stare of indifference. There is a scene in a little known movie called Undercover Blues which always makes me laugh. In it Dennis Quaid plays a retired spy and new dad. Every time he meets someone and they ask what he does, he makes up some new line of work; anything from a brain surgeon to an Electrolux vacuum salesman. I may start doing this myself.

It seems whenever the question of what a person does for a living comes up, really what is being asked is what defines you as a person? I mean think about it, we love to hear about how exciting a person’s job is, or how much money they acquire through doing it, don’t we? If a person tells us they work at the local Walmart or sewage plant, we won’t hang around nearly as long as if they tell us about how their job sends them all over the world to work with the rich and powerful now will we?

Being defined by what you do has been one of the most soul crushing experiences of my life. I owned and operated a retail shoe store for over twenty years; even calling myself Dave the Shoe-Guy for a long time. I let my shoe store define who I was in more ways than one. I couldn’t get away from it either. When I was introduced to people in a social setting, it was always, this is Dave, he owns a shoe store. Never, this is Dave, he loves Jesus and Star Wars.

What defines who you are? Are you a hunter or fisherman? Do you play golf or basketball on the weekends? Are you letting these things define who you are? Perhaps you’re a husband and father; both noble things but are these the definition of who you are? I think there is more than what you do to define you. The problem is society has a way of trying to label us. It’s like you do this, so you go over here in this group. Being defined by what you do is almost the same as being segregated, and we all know how much people love to be segregated.

I realized one day there was more to who I am than just what I did. You see, I am a man who loves his family, I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, an old school Star Wars fan, a writer and someone who loves to spend time drinking coffee with his friends. The job I go to every day is what pays the bills, but it is not what defines me, at least not anymore. I won’t let it be the scorecard on what my worth is in this world.

What are you letting define who you are? Is it developing you into a better man, or is it crushing your soul just like it did for me many years ago? Stop being defined by what the world says you should be and go be who you were meant to be. You’ll be glad you did.

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Make Yourself Great Again

All every man really wants is to have a good life; full of family, friends and happiness, right? he Declaration of Independence states it as our unalienable rights; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream, it’s really what we all want, it’s just in how we achieve it where differences come in to play.

Some men believe in hard work, making their own way, while others look to the government to supply what they need. And I’m not talking about welfare here, that’s another blog. What I’m talking about is looking to Washington to provide the essential things everyone needs to have a good life; food, a place to live, affordable health care, etc.

What I have come to understand in my fifty-three years of living on Planet Earth is this; if I want something out of life, then I had better get up off of my butt and go earn it. For all the government can do, it is bogged down with red tape and the inability to act quickly and decisively. It’s up to us as men to earn our own way.

With the history of mismanagement, waste and robbing Peter to pay Paul mentality in our government, I am baffled as to why people continue to hold out their hands looking for Uncle Sam to provide for them. Nothing against my Native American brothers, but I think they can attest to the fact of how our government has not helped them out in the least.

Watching the movie Robin Hood, with Russell Crowe a few weeks ago, there was a moment in the film where King John was in a dispute with his noblemen and he sarcastically asks the question, “What, do you want a castle for every man?” to which Robin replies, “Majesty, every man’s home is his castle.” to which every man there gave a loud cheer.

This is where I live; give me the freedom to make my own way in the world. Free me from the shackles of government and let me live as I see fit. I’m not saying I don’t want to abide by the laws of the land; on the contrary, they are there to help us for the most part. All I’m saying is I don’t need politicians to help me have a great life. What I need for them to do is to protect the interests here and abroad.

If people don’t have what they want, and refuse to go out and work for it, then let them do without. Having a government which hands stuff to the people causing them to work less, is like giving your children everything they ask for when they ask for it instead of making them work for some things, or just do without.

This is where American can become great again, giving the rights back to the people to make their own way and get everything this great country is willing to give to them. Only if you want it, stop holding your hand out waiting for it and do what Rocky said to his son, “If you know what you’re worth, then go out and get it.”

There is so much potential for every man and woman to become whatever they want to be and get their part of the American dream. The first thing we all have to do is stop looking for a handout from Washington and look to ourselves. In doing this we truly can make ourselves great again!