For a moment ask yourself this question “Who am I?”. If you think deeply about who you really are you will realize that you are made of a bundle of beliefs, opinions, biases, fears, hopes and ambitions. You want to do and achieve a lot of things in life. You have a of limited knowledge of the world.
Now pause for a moment, and try to think about who you were a few years ago. You will quickly realize that you had a different set of beliefs and opinions. You were fascinated by certain things and hated certain other things. A few years back you had some goals. It is likely that these goal no longer interest you.
Many things would have changed. Your opinion on things and people in this world would have also undergone a certain transformation. It is likely that you deeply believed in something. You may not possible believe any more in this. It could be that you did not believe in a leader and now you are willing to be more open to the person’s ideas and ideologies or vice-versa. Alternatively a belief you had in a faith no longer brings the same reverence and faith in you.
With changing times, the ‘I’ also changes.
What I am driving at is that the ‘I’ that we think that we know intimately actually undergoes constant change.
In your mind you are the same person from time immemorial. But if you closely look into yourself you will realize that as your external body grows and ages so also does this ‘I’.
We are constantly learning and unlearning new things. We shed our old opinions and biases only to pick on new opinions and biases. Our ideas change. We acquire more knowledge, though limited, of the world through learning and experience. Sometimes some event, or person has such a strong influence on us that we are willing to change our age old concepts of things. Our opinions change. Our credulity or skepticism about things also changes.
It is likely that if we happen to meet our former self from a few years ago, we may have a lot of differences. This ‘I’ is constantly growing, aging and transforming every moment, every day, throughout our lifetime.
So who will you be many years from now? I think none of us can say this with absolute certainty. Who knows what event and what transforming event awaits us? Who will we encounter in our future? What new experiences awaits us?
All we can and should hope, is that at least, we hold on to our core values of integrity, kindness and compassion in the years to come.
Just as we would not recognize our former self, the likelihood of us knowing our future self is also very remote!