You Are What You Do

Probably a bad example of what I’m trying to say, but wish me luck:

Mainstream society depicts Christians as hypocritical and, sometimes, ignorant.
Fans perceive Katniss as a hero.
Alcoholics obtain such a label by suffering from alcoholism.

These labels and perceptions can also be known as definitions, which formed based on actions. When you do something, you’re portraying a definition of yourself — by lying, you’re a liar; by owning and running a blog, you’re a blogger…

On a particular site I read a list that contradicts everything that truly defines a person, and I’m wanting to address it rant-wise, but for my personal satisfaction of explaining the whys and the hows regarding the fact that it isn’t actually true.

Because what you do defines you.

  • If you abuse, you’re an abuser.
  • If you publish a book, you’re an author.
  • If you design themes, you’re a designer.
  • If you have a job, you’re an employee — if you freelance, you’re a freelancer.
  • If you murder someone, you’re a murderer.
  • If you buy something from a store, you’re a shopper/customer.

Actions speak louder than words — I’m unemployed, which makes me an unemployed American — thus defining a part of me — so saying I’m a robotics engineer only defines me as a liar. Actions define people — who they are, what they are, how they are and why they are.

Characters in a book are described using adjectives, but they become nouns other than their names (e.g. dancers, mentors, students, etc.) by performing actions. I can’t call Benjamin a teacher and have him working at the movies instead, because it wouldn’t portray him correctly, and he wouldn’t be perceived as a teacher.

As people, we are what we do.

Anyways… your so-called ‘greatest job’? #bs

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Comments on this post

Defiance’s gravatar

This is true. Labels are so hard to overcome. Well, I hope that you aren’t too upset about that. ^^;
Anyway, have a good night!

Liz’s gravatar

Why would I be upset? o.o

Nancy’s gravatar

I agree with what you say about what you do makes you who you are. It makes sense because how does owning/running a blog not make someone a blogger? Same applies to the other list of things. People offline earn titles because of the things they do… Otherwise, they would be a liar for being something they don’t do :o.

Christine’s gravatar

I wish I could see the original list that sparked this post because I think I would have more to say in regards to definitions of people, labels, and how we define ourselves. I think that the list you posted here is correct, but I also think the lines of who we are can shift based on how we change as we grow, meet new people, etc. For example, is an author only an author? If their book becomes a movie can they then become a director? Do they stop being one thing and become another or can they blend?

Liz’s gravatar

I don’t personally think it’s static; I just think that what a person does is what a person is, and I believe it to be fluid.