Sunday, March 20, 2016

SO, Who Are You?

This past week I was asked an interesting question.

Who are you?  What makes you so special and sets you aside from others?

My first mental response was - I'm a writer.  I blurted it.  Yes, I said it aloud. There was no take-backs, no side-stepping my answer.

The response from my verbal attacker caught me ill prepared.  Well, whoop-de-doo! There are other writers, you're not the only one. They could have stopped at that point, but they continued. "And some of them write better than you! So, again, what makes you so special?"

Okay, I had to do some fast mental straining of the few working cells I had left. This person wasn't going to be put off so easily and/or so quickly.

I'm a husband to a wonderful wife.  You're not the only guy to wear a wedding ring, dude.

I'm a father of four sons.  There are other fathers out there, that's no big whoop!

I'm a grandfather to ten wonderful children. Again, there are other grandfathers with great children.

I'm a great-grandfather to two children plus a set of twins on the way. Yeah, big whoop! Try again.

I'm a Christian.  I'm retired.  I served my country in the Navy.  I garden.. I travel... I... I... I...

What DOES make me special? What designates me as special and not to be confused with my neighbor or friend?

Somebody said how I appear makes me unique. Unfortunately, that doesn't hold water, either.  I've met my doppelganger and it was a really weird experience.  I was in the Navy and was being waved at and spoken to by total strangers who acted like they knew me. It was a person from my barracks who started me on the path to discovery of my look-alike. He'd seen me at a bar in Fresno, CA and I ignored him. I was able to prove I wasn't at the bar - 1) I wasn't quite old enough at the time and 2) I had 3 buddies who I'd went to the theater with that night and played cards with until 1 AM.  Then this mystery person strolled into the mess hall while I was there. He was almost a year older than me and, for all practical purposes, the spitting image of me. But, I digress.  So much for looks.

After an immense amount of thought on the question, I could only come up with one answer.

It is the combination of all these things that make me the unique person I am. It is my likes and dislikes which I have the right to change as often as I desire. It is my looks, which I can change, and, of course, my heritage which I can't. It is my ancestors and my descendants. It is my accomplishments, my failures, and my dreams.

There is no one individual item that makes me unique. I can only think of one man to have lived and have one attribute to set him from others and that would be Jesus who died on the cross for our sins.

For many Christians, this week is considered a Holy Week to commemorate the final trials, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Take the time this coming Easter Sunday to attend church and celebrate his defeat of Death.  For those who aren't of the Christian persuasion - may I ask you attend the worship center of your choice and recommit yourself to your faith.

Until next I ramble on...


  1. I believe that God makes each of us unique and expects us to develop into the special person He made. If we choose the wrong path He gently nudges us until we find the right one. He doesn't make mistakes but we always do, so as authors we should tell our special stories from our unique minds and experiences. Perhaps we can fulfill a small part of the grand plan He has in mind for us. After my sister read my first sci-fantasy novel, she called and said, "I've known you all my life and never knew your mind worked like that. It's wonderful!" If I had not finally shared my writing, she would never know what goes through my mind. Being compelled to write is obviously part of God's plan, so who am I to fight Him?

  2. That's what I think - each of us is a unique combination of characteristics, experiences, accomplishments, failings, strengths and flaws.
    It's interesting that you met your double in the military. The same thing happened to my father-in-law: he and a man of the same age as he found themselves in the same unit in officer training in 1941. It caused no end of confusion for the commanding officers. I wrote about some of the more amusing aspects of that in my book, Army of Worn Soles.

    1. There was a lot of confusion on the Navy air base, too. LOL. Our personalities were opposite in many ways so it caused a lot of stir - we were always doing something that didn't seem normal. I danced, he didn't. He drank, I didn't. He smoked, I didn't. I painted, he didn't. Friends of the other would think they were acknowledging their friend. We just got in the habit of waving at whoever waved at us. LOL. Since then, I've had people approach me thinking I am him. We both travel immensely it would appear.

  3. Dude, you are so unique... every single one of the attributes above you listed are true, but you failed to mention "a great friend, a good listener, a helper, a farmer (yes you now have chickens), a teacher and so many other things. I can guarantee you, you are truly unique and I'm so thankful to know you.

    1. Thanks, and knowing you has helped to define my uniqueness.

  4. I really enjoyed this post, and boy do I want to know who gave you such a hard time! We are all special in our own ways, at least to a handful of people :-)

    1. Actually, it was at a writer get-together for lunch and the question came up. Somehow I got the hot seat. LOL. I survived but it was a great writing experience in learning yourself and your character.