Columnist wonders how well do you actually know yourself

By: Geraldine Vincent Columnist

“Imagine it’s 1936; early 1936. You are in Nazi- Germany and you are a Jew. You, your group of friends and fellow Jews are trying to find a place to hide, away from the Nazis and to make it worst, you have an eleven month old child. You finally find a shelter, but the problem is that the shelter is right beside the main road! And if the Nazis should find you, you will be tortured and killed. However, if the Nazis should match down the street without finding you, you will definitely make it to safety; guaranteed. You and your companions are very aware of your dilemma. Unfortunately, just as the Nazis are matching down the road, your eleven month old child begins to cry. Remember, if you are found out, you will face a definite death. You only have two options: smother the baby and save your life and that of everyone else or get caught and everyone including you and your child will be killed. What will you do?”

  It’s corny isn’t it? How many people will actually kill their baby to save the lives of their others? Do you know the amount of people that will not sacrifice the live of their child for others? Mind you, for the sake of this article, this analogy is not an ethical question. This is supposed to make you question yourself; your capabilities, the things that drive you, the decisions you may make in a sticky situation. In “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, general Iroh said to his nephew Zuko “You Must look within yourself to find yourself, only then will your true self reveal itself” . With the era of smart phones, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etcetera, most people spend time collecting friends; virtual friends, that they forget to befriend the most important person in their lives; themselves.

  People don’t even know what they like or dislike. Simple questions such as “what’s your favorite color?” becomes calculus. “Do you like tea or coffee?” “ehhh.. I don’t know… I don’t know, I have to think about it!” What happened to “Neither” or “I don’t mind, any one will do” or “tea please” or even “coffee please”? What happened to us? Some people do not even know what they can, will, can’t or won’t tolerate. Why? Because they are not self-aware. They become like sheep following other sheep without a shepherd. When my friend Judge gave me the analogy about the Jew, I immediately gave my answer without having to think a lot about it. Try and apply this dilemma to yourself, it’s not even about the answer, because there is no right or wrong answer; it’s simply about the surety behind the answer that you give, and if you can’t give an answer with strong conviction, that’s okay too. All you need to do is take the right step towards self-awareness.

  So today, I challenge you to build a relationship with yourself; take yourself to a date. You know that one movie you’ve been trying to see? Well go see it, take a walk by you, sing, laugh and tell jokes and stories to yourself. Stand in front of a mirror in the privacy of your room or bathrooms. Look at your reflection in the eye and say “Hello, my name is…”


Geraldine  is a biochemistry major. She can be reached at [email protected]