• Mustafa M. Abuhamdeh

On Why Should We Know Ourselves.

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The likeliness of leading decent, coherent lives without a vibrant comprehension of ourselves is scantily feasible, if not utterly impossible. The pursuit of uncovering who we are should have throned our conversations, inciting inquiries that seek to obviate the mystery of identities, thereafter drawing us closer to the human we elected to befriend, date or marry. Yet, we obsequiously conformed to society’s standard of “normal” and buried a chunk of ourselves under a pedestrian façade that entertains an inegalitarian lifestyle unsuited for the uniqueness of man. Alas, the collective abstinence from critically pondering the “I” and “You” ensured a paucity of the useful markers that generate self-discovery, thereby rendering us lightly informed about the selves we proclaim to fathom.

As the human withdrew from the quest of self-knowledge, malevolence, indifference and helplessness covertly assumed hold of our minds. Suicidal propensities sky-rocketed, noxious auras surrounded our most intimate relationships and our aspirations became conditional on their probabilistic success of elevating our social appeal. The psychological limitations hitherto generated are axiomatically repulsive, and yet, we guard the present methodology of living with the utmost of concern, why? Are we programmed by an innate genetical umbrella, forever predisposed to myriad biases, tardiness and fear? Or is our misguided malignancy nurtured by our unchosen environment? In other words, are the causes behind the cessation of cardinal questions a calculated attempt by our brains to avoid “uncomfortable” discussions that might upset our seemingly “stoned” happiness? (pun intended for the masses that may only be acquainted with such states after a few grams/ounces of depressants.) Or are our environmental influences so adverse, they severed the wings of individual-exclusive freedom?

The cogent response to the ancient war of nature versus of nurture is “…—they are inseparable.” As responded by Venter, leader of the first team to transfer a cell with a synthetic chromosome. Genes are cardinal in producing the underlying facets of personality, yet experience is what determines which cluster of these genes, within the larger codon of man, is switched on. Essentially, one’s genetic composition grants their pool of available colors, but the environment selects which of them is reflected on the white sheet—the identity you project into the world. The factual establishment of personality to be an interplay of the two aforementioned supreme forces robs us of the plotted curtain we have been hiding behind. For too long, we pointed the fingers at either biology or the environment to be the cause of our mental displacement “I am inadequate because it is the way I am.” “I am worthless because my parents are vile.” And there has seldom been the confession “I have achieved far less because I elected to withdraw from the agony of confronting the world to achieve my potential.”

While there exists no dispute on the rationale of our world being discriminatory in its distribution of opportunity, that success could possibly be an unachievable ideal for those born to penurious houses or uncaring parents. However, what is called into question here is not the genuineness of the innumerable atrocities haunting the unfortunate, but the many whose only effective reasoning for disgruntlement is their conformity to failure, or worse, the avoidance of the endeavor of self-discovery due to anticipatory failure. The human is inherently a pugnacious creature that repels any entity that dares to deride or threaten its value, existence, or any range of the two. That is what embellishes today’s collective eschew from utilizing any means to voyage into self-discovery to be so unbelievable.

One’s reactivity to guarding the nascent roots of personality is ought to be far superior to the will of simply emulating a life that is in totality perfidious to all their personal desires. The mind should obstinately decide to conduct a studious cycle to unpack all the qualities and truths about itself, and thereafter, take an individualistic approach to proliferate the items that seem favorable and attenuate, not necessarily element, those that are judged to be deleterious or unrepresentative of itself.

Learning about the tone most soothing to one’s ears, preferring to pursue a major of arts as opposed to science, publishing a piece of creative writing that has been harshly evaluated by one’s unjust nature, and forgoing particular relationships that seem to incite harm. Acknowledging what most saddens us, becoming aware of the fact that we are, without a doubt, insecure and discovering what these insecurities are, funding a set of goals that seem to best define us, and philosophizing how we mean all emotions. The actions one can perform to arrest their identity into the realm of the known may take many shapes and is conclusively subjective on the basis of the individual. For all intents and purposes, merely affirming the cruciality of such a series of actions is a milestone in its own right.

Indubitably such ventures will yield disturbing outcomes. After all, this is a path of you coming to terms with who you are/have become. A formidable slice of the resultant data will reveal itself as dampening to one’s mood, but one must sedulously shuffle through the pages, and learn all there is about the abstract “I am”. Such a maneuver will enervate the terror of failure, inducing courage, and even possibly an iota of excitement, in facing all there is to come. For certainly, whether one elects to fly keenly or blindly, death will be the ultimate destination. A place where life expires indefinitely, and unlike our favorite video games, we will not respawn, we can not try an alternative detour or restart the story altogether with a different difficulty. Therefore, why not fixate one’s resolve into the quest of discovery and fulfillment? Indeed, living and later perishing with memories that you would want to relive is the most salubrious experience available to mortals.

The evolution of the human species trespasses beyond reason and into fantasy. Factually, our sheer existence, judged through statistical analysis, is so bewildering it should not have been possible. Despite that, we endured, persisted, and eventually ruled the world with unprecedented intelligence and heartlessness. After a hundred millenniums, the act of birth is no longer befuddling, yet when studied, the chances of you coming to life were about one in four hundred trillion. Such an inexplicable miracle should incite a reevaluation into what our “selves” should mean to us, and dispute if there should be anything higher than one’s desire to achieve fulfillment.


By Mustafa M. Abuhamdeh.

Hey there! I'm Mustafa, the voice behind 'On Why Should We Know Ourselves.' I appreciate you taking the time to read my post for this week, and I would love to connect with you to discuss the contents of this article, or anything else.

Have a great rest of your day!


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