“Among the great questions of the human heart, none is more central than the question, “Who am I?” And among the great answers of the human spirit, none is more central than the experience of “I Am.” – Philosopher Jacob Needleman
I was reminded of this quote as I worked with a third grader this week whose research fellows mission is to make her classroom, bus, and community a happier place. We’ve hit the research section of the fellowships and discovered her original idea, pinning up affirmations, is one not supported by psychological research. She went in search of some kid friendly information on the new positive psychology of thriving and happiness and came across a truth that lies at the very heart of all the research fellowships. It is in giving of ourselves, in her case giving an authentic complement that aims to touch the heart of another, that we discover who we are.
We do not stumble upon a singular answer to the question “Who am I?” Rather, it is a series of answers that come as our talents, our brilliance, our time, our attention, combine with passion and purpose and become a gift that makes a (hopefully positive) change in the world. This holds true especially when that world is but a moment in the imagination of another.
Viktor Frankl, survivor of Auschwitz, and psychotherapist, speaks eloquently about the need to discover not simply a vocational answer to the question “Who am I?,” but the very human desire to find a deeper meaning and purpose to the answer.
Invite a teen, ages 16 and up, to explore questions of vocation within the deeper quest toward meaning an purpose. The Find Your Passion Overnight will be help at Gilmary Retreat Center December 28-29. Follow the link for more information.