PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

 

Who are you?


(The Do-It-Your-Own Multiple Personality Test)

A newspaper columnist asked, "Whose mask are you?" Another stated it in a more straightforward way: "You are not you." No matter, they talked about the same thing We go through a sudden personality change every time someone else is close by, or depending on who is close by. Honesty is indeed such a lonely word because everyone is so untrue.

Who are you? Are you really you? Or are you yourself only when you're alone? To give an honest answer to these, I suggest an experiment that is quite impossible to carry out. Have someone install without your knowledge a hidden camera near the phone to document the way you change in personality depending on who's on the other line. Make a checklist similar to this:

If it is your mother, do you suddenly modulate to a sweet, comfortable tone? Or is it to a contemptible one? If it is your father, do you suddenly turn serious, respectful, even fearful? or defensive? If it is your boss, do you grovel like a dog? If it is your colleague, do you suddenly act your age? If it is your friend, do you suddenly splutter greetings, mock insults, or some other wicked expression? If it is your girlfriend or wife, do you switch into a tender, amorous tone? If it is your suitor or admirer, do you turn coquettish? If it is your husband, don't you run the gamut, from solicitous to contemptuous? If it is your house help, do you transmogrify into a peremptory, condescending figure? If it is a child, do you down-talk to him/her endearingly? Or are you in your honest best because you break down your usual wall of defense? If it is an acquaintance from the past or a long-lost friend, do you feel disoriented? If it is your grandmother, don't you sound too considerate or even patronizing? If it is a crank caller, do you splutter with crisp four-letter words? If it is a priest, don't you suddenly feel having a halo and a pair of wings? If it is your bully of a cousin, don't you sound just as obnoxious or make faces while sounding nice? If it the BIR or the Citibank, don't you sound too reserved, circumspect? If it the president of the Philippines, do you find yourself whining or do you become a scared stiff? If it is the company you're applying for, are you giving your best foot forward? If it is your favorite movie star, don't you slobber, sound giddy, or turn into a speechless dweeb? If it is the DJ on FM radio, don't you blabber with equal nonsense? If it is Ernie Baron, don't you sound like a lazy researcher or a taunt? If it is the police, do you panic? If it is the Abu Sayyaf, aren't you choking on your words? If it is the doctor checking on you, don't you sound like you have something to hide? If it is your boring sister talking about her crush, don't you border on being phlegmatic? If it is a ghost, can you still catch your breath? If it is God, aren't you harrumphing with guilt? If it is your rich relation, do you suddenly kowtow or act like one of them?

Through all instances, do you consider the fact that others are listening?

Now, compare all these when you find yourself actually talking face-to-face with them. Compare all these when you find yourself talking in front of a large crowd. Observe the dynamics of your own personality changes, the nuances of tone, pitch, loudness, etc. in your voice, the twitches in your facial muscles, and other barely noticeable aspects of body language.

The next question that begs to be asked is, how many persons are trapped in your body?

Are you a Janus-faced two-timer? Or perhaps aspiring to be the Holy Trinity? Or could it be that you're the seven-headed beast of the apocalypse? Are you a multicolor chameleon? Or perhaps a versatile actor like James Duvall or Steve Buscemi, but the difference is that you're not making any movie because your life is one make-believe episode after another.

Who are you? When you look at yourself in the mirror, are you finally you?

The time you find it impossible to face your own reflection should be the scariest day of your life.

8.10.2000


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