For centuries man has grappled with the riddle of what it means to be a
person. But the questions Who is man? and What is the meaning of life? are
still unanswered. Yet, while man is still a long way from arriving at any
acceptable definitions, there is deep within everyone the hint of an idea of
what it means to be a whole person, that is happy, functioning and fulfilled.
So, throughout history man has made a continuous search to find out what
makes him whole. Every person is different so the special situation in which
one person finds fulfillment can't work for everyone. But in the lives of those
who have found fulfillment there is a universal pattern. The universal pattern
is that those who have found fulfillment have had a willingness to accept
change and take risks. Conversely, those who have not found wholeness are
characterized by an unconquerable desire to be safe, to be out of danger and
to avoid risk.
The first step in the search for identity is to answer the question, How
do you see yourself? In the play No Exit by Jean Paul Sartre Estelle loses
sight of her identity. She says 'When I can't see myself, I begin to wonder if
I really and truly exist.' What a man sees himself as in the mirror largely
determines his actions during the day. Estelle had to look into the 'mirror' of
men to confirm her identity. A man is the number one determining factor in
discovering who he is. Each individual must understand that he is responsible
for his own pain, misery, unhappiness, or for his own joy. Man is not a
product of what people have done or are now doing to us. Man has the
power to become whatever he...