top of page
Writing about oneself is a challenging feat, and not only because of the temptation to err on the positive aspect of ourselves. It is because there is actually a fundamental difficulty in the structure of doing this. I think that this is because of the over reliance on adjectives in description, especially in regards to describing people and, even more especially, ourselves. We see this in often trod out questions, such as, "Can you describe yourself in three words?" You might have been asked this during your education, socially or while interviewing for some role. This questing is probing for an answer that, even if not intentionally dishonest, cannot be honest in any real sense of the word. There is no ability to arrive at an honest answer, if you use three adjectives to describe your personality. For example, if one of your words was to be "ambitious", and the person asking the question was to drill into that answer, what does it actually mean? Presumably, what you would be saying is that if ambition is a spectrum, that you are above average on said spectrum. How far above average you are claiming to be is a mystery to all, but even more puzzling is how you concluded where to mark as average. You would need to know someone exceptionally well to be able to make even an educated guess as to how ambitions they are. I can count on two hands, perhaps one, how many people that I am comfortable at making this guess about and I actively try to find this information by asking people questions about it. Now think about strangers, how can you make a guess at the average level of ambition someone feels. Play this game - the next time you see a group of three people together that you do not know, try to place them individually on the imaginary scale of ambition that you placed yourself in the top fifty percent of. Your confidence in where the average level of ambition will vary depending on the group you are making these wild guesses about but honestly, you or I have no accurate perspective on the level of ambition within any person other than ourselves, so you can never know what the average is or whether you are above or below that line. So saying that you are ambitious means virtually nothing beyond that you are more ambitious than you once were. This is the same for every other adjective that you can think of to describe yourself.
I made a pledge to myself some years ago to stop using adjectives to describe myself and, with the exception of humour and hyperbole, I have stuck to that pretty zealously. I even made a poster that said "Describe yourself in Zero words or Less" and placed it where is would see it every day. I done this because I do not see the value in using these adjectives to describe myself ever. A better way of describing yourself is to explain what you do, what you want and what you think (your ideas). You have just read a little about how I think and if you are reading this, you will know more about me and how I think than you would have if I had listed a thousand adjectives that I claimed described me.
So, who am I?
I am someone who tries to tells the truth as often as I can. I especially try to tell the truth when I know other people will be affected by my words and decisions.
I am someone who will not try to claim a firm opinion unless I have thought something through. I am also happy to change my mind with new information.
I am someone who believes the best thing one can do with an idea is to share it.
I am someone who believes everyone should have a strick and consistent moral code but should be willing to forgive.
I am someone who respects anyone that has principles, whether I agree with the principle or not.
I am someone who believes that, if you have something to say, silence is a lie.
What are my Values?
My values are essentially Truth and Fairness.
TRUTH - Truth is, or at least should be, what all of our foundation is built upon. I think this is true for individuals, relationships and society at large - everything must be based on truth. I believe it is impossible to be happy if you are pretending to be something that you are not. This comes in different forms. There is outright lying about who you are for other people's approval, which will cause confusion for other people and yourself eventually. More commonly, in fact it seems routinely, people will supress aspects of themselves from other people in order to be accepted or avoid conflict. I do not believe that this is good idea. I think it is a better idea to share all aspects of who you are and to be open to having healthy disagreement with others. When it comes to relationships and society, we need truth in order to agree on how these things proceed. Agreeing to continue a relationship based on something other than truth is unfair on all parties and will eventually lead to breakdown anyway. Same with society, with the added fact that breakdown in society is dangerous for everyone. Sometimes the truth is painful and difficult to wrestle with, but it is neccessary that we stick to it for the good of the future.
Read more on my thoughts on Truth
Fairness - Fairness is more subjective and complex but I believe it is worth aiming for, even if we disagree on what is fair. For example, if you have two people competing to pick the most apples from a tree in one hour and one of those people is an adult of 6ft in height and the other is a child of 4ft, is it fair to give the child a small stool. Some would say that giving the child the stool is fair because it evens the height. Some would say that giving the stool to one and not the other is unfair. This is subjective. I fall on the side of giving the stool to one and not the other being unfair. I believe that this is a mismatch and that the adult will almost certainly win, but I do not believe in changing the rules to benefit the supposed weaker party. I believe doing sot is fundamentally unfair, but more importantly, I believe that you are doing a disservice to both parties. I believe in all competition, people should play by the exact same rules and we should accept it when one person is better than the other. I believe that in any case where we implement any rules or guidelines, those rules and guidelines should apply to everyone in the same way.
Read more on my thoughts on Fairness
bottom of page