And so, we come to the question that has plagued me since birth. Has it plagued you?
Who am I?
I was a son, till my father died. I am a father, husband, friend and lover.
I was a corporate executive. Now, I am not. Am I a struggling entrepreneur?
Am I a dilettante? Or, am I a scholar?
Am I a fully truthful person? Or, do I tell little lies and thus become a chronic liar?
When I was young, I was told to be a man. When I asked the people around me what it means to be a man, I was told be tough, macho. Hard drinking, hard swearing. Catch the woman,swing her up onto the horse, and gallop into the distance.
Now, they tell me to be a man. When I ask the people around me what it means to be a man, I am told to be strong. In sensitivity, lies strength. In gentleness, lies strength. Yet, if you need to kill, do it mercilessly. Do they coexist?
When I was a corporate executive, I was told that to be successful, I must exude confidence. I must never display doubt. It is a sign of weakness. I must be one of the boys. I must be able to blend effortlessly with the bosses, laugh at their inane jokes, and say ‘yay’, when my heart says ‘nay’. I must express the ‘nay’ in a manner that says ‘yay’. In my youth, I was to be a tough, ruthless leader. Almost to the point of rudeness. Now, I must be a servant-leader, yet be ruthless.
Who made the rules of the game?
Who made the game?
Who told me that I should clap for the leaders who preach tolerance, yet practice violence, corruption and intolerance?
When I was born, I had no teeth or hair. When I die, I may yet have no teeth or hair.
When I was born, I was helpless and dependent. When I die, I will yet be helpless. I will depend on others to cremate me well, and bid me well as I journey into the darkness.
What happened in between? What did I do that was truly of significance?
Did I measure up? To whom? To who’s standards?
Who am I?
Am I me, or am I an amalgamation of the many masks I have worn?