May 13, 2002
|Forgetting who you are….
I got this idea from watching THE MAJESTIC, the film where Jim Carrey
stars as a person with amnesia. In the movie, an older man finds him,
takes him to a diner where he eats breakfast. The doctor comes in and
notices his injury (apparently resulting in the amnesia) and asks him
to come to his office for a closer look. Upon standing up and being
presented with the reality of paying for his meal, he realizes he
doesn’t have enough money and the doctor agrees to put the meal on his
tab. He places the small amount of change in his pocket on the table
and stands back and “ever so graciously” says thank you as he
compliments the person who prepared the eggs for him.
Now, here is a person who doesn’t remember who he is…yet when
confronted with the reality of it, offers graciousness, not
ambivalence, not bitterness, no anxiety, but graciousness. In that
moment, I asked myself the question…what if I forgot who I was…?
How would I behave…if…?
If I forgot who I was. In some ways this presents an incredible
opportunity to begin again, to act as if…. To act as if I was
gracious, kind, benevolent, and generative. It also reminded me of how
I acted sometimes…selfish, anxious, angry and competitive. I thought
to myself a moment, what if I forgot who I was…. Could I behave as if?
Then it sort of hit me.
We all have the chance to behave as if…as if anything were possible,
BUT we would have to let go of what is stopping us from behaving as
if…. We would have to behave in the moment without an agenda, but
fully present, gracious and kind to others because we don’t and can’t
think of anything else. I guess human nature doesn’t work that way,
does it, but what if we could forget who we were without losing who we
were and could behave because we were?
That one will take a lifetime to figure out.