Connection Question 1

Is it truly possible to break the connection
between who you are and what you do?

This is adapted from a statement our pastor made – he said it is, indeed, possible to break the connection between who you are and what you do. The idea intrigued me (I find it hard to believe half the man says), so I wrote it as a question and thought it might be fun to examine the idea more closely on my own time. ((See, church is good for something – it makes me think. LoL!!)) …along with six other questions… ((blushes and ducks))

First, I find there must be a supposition that there IS a connection between what one is and what one does before we can decide if it’s breakable. It seems like a logical thing to assume… and from what I have seen in my own experience, this supposition holds water.  For example, I have a cousin who’s a shiester.  A smooth talking guy who can charm people as if he had the Pied Piper’s flute or something.  What he does – weaving tales to impress people, saying what is pleasing to the ear (even if it’s completely untrue), giving people the attention they desire thru flattery… it reflects completely what he is – a shiester.  Meanwhile, Brian is meek. What he does – avoids conflict, goes with the flow, doesn’t question things, smooths over possible hot topics – is deeply rooted to what he is – a meek personality.

I’m straightforward.  I give people the honest truth, whether they like it or not.  Whether it’s pleasant or not.  You get it straight here – how I feel, why I feel that way, what I’m going to do about it, and what that will mean for others.  Period.  Frankness; pain and all.  What I do is part of what I am.

So if we accept the supposition of the pastor and agree that there is a connection between what one is and what one does, then is it possible to break that connection? I’m not so sure. Can a shiester be genially honest?  Not without a change of character.  Perhaps in certain circumstances that are localized and isolated… in a moment of vulnerability, in a moment of confusion or fear…

Adverse circumstances can draw things out of us that aren’t typical for our character.  Can a meek person be fired into aggression?  Yes, in adverse circumstances.  For example, RM was an on-line friend who was attacked for her beliefs by SL.  Typically a meek character, RM rose up into aggression in defense under the trying circumstances.

However, if a person has a character that leans in one particular direction, is it possible for their actions to be contrary to their character?  Can they do things recurrently that challenges what they are?  I don’t know that I believe that possible.  The character must change, it seems, if the behavior is to take a permanent redirection. It would put the person at odds with themselves otherwise.  Who ever heard of a drunkard who didn’t touch alcohol? A martyr who refused to stand for a cause?  A pacifist with a history of violence?  It just doesn’t make sense.

So as to the question – is it possible to break the connection between what you say and what you do? I honestly don’t think so. That’s not to say the character of a person couldn’t change.  But if the character changes, then what the person says and does both change.

If one changes, so must the other.  A meek person like Brian could become stronger in his views and assertions, but the circumstances that would cause that change would evoke a change in his actions and reactions, too… meaning both would change. I don’t know that one can change without the other.

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