Who Are You?

I wonder how many times I’ve listened to The Who singing “Who Are You?” at the beginning of every episode of the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation television show. “Who are you? I really wanna know.”  I can hear it in my head now. Can’t you?

Kind of a weird song, but the part used on the show is highly effective because it has a double meaning in the context of a crime show. Since each episode involves identifying the murder victim, that person’s identity ultimately answers the “Who are you?” question. The question can also be addressed to the killer, though, who desperately needs to be identified and stopped before committing any more murders.

I was talking with my wife, Kathleen, about that recently. More specifically, I asked her how she would respond to the question “What are you?” and what she saw as the difference between “Who are you?” and “What are you?”

I foolishly thought she would respond the same way a man would when meeting someone new and being asked, “What are you?” Surely she would answer “a telecom analyst” or “a crocheter.” Or maybe “Mo and Trina’s mother.”

Nope. Not how women think. Instead, she got down to basics. “I am a human being.” The rest of our discussion was too confusing to go into here, but it was interesting. So much for writing about the difference between “Who are you?” and “What are you?”

On the “About Me” page on my website, RogerBruner.com, I have a link to HowManyOfMe.com. It’s a nifty place to enter your first and last names and see how many people in the United States have the same name.  There are actually thirty instances of Roger Bruner, but 520,918 of Roger without regard to the last name, and 18,475 of Bruner without considering the first name.

So identifying myself only as Roger Bruner doesn’t automatically eliminate confusion between me and some other Roger Bruner. HowManyOfMe.com doesn’t allow for checking middle names or initials, but if it did, searching on Roger E. Bruner would probably come close to confirming me as an individual. And searching for Roger Ellis Bruner might really do the trick.

Then again, since there are 40,444 people having Ellis as a first name, I suppose it’s possible one of those other Roger Bruners might have Ellis as a middle name.

But you know what? All of that really doesn’t matter. They say no two people have the same fingerprints. And they say no two people are exactly alike otherwise.

God could’ve created people who were exactly alike, but that wouldn’t have reflected well on His role as Creator. Using a cookie cutter method to create people wouldn’t require any creativity at all.

But God is creative. More creative than I–or you–can ever imagine. No matter how much alike we are in various ways, I enjoy knowing that I’m truly one of a kind. Before I was conceived, God knew who I would be and what I would be like. So I thank Him daily for every one of those characteristics that distinguishes me from other people. Characteristics that are far more important than my name.

And that helps me to accept myself the way I am more easily. Yes, having more hair would be nice. Being permanently slim would be even nicer, and I could go on listing things about myself I might be tempted not to like. But the bottom line is this is the way God made me. I shouldn’t dishonor his handiwork by complaining about any of my characteristics.

Do you look at some of your traits with regret or do you accept yourself as you are–totally? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.


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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,

2 thoughts on “Who Are You?

  1. As I age and contemplate this subject more, I am much more likely to accept myself for who God created me to be. But, I would never refer to my daughters as Mo and Trina rather than Maureen and Katrina! 🙂


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