Friday, March 14, 2008

A quote about self discovery

This past week I read Bliss Broyard's One Drop, which was her attempt to understand why her father, Anatole Broyard (the famous daily book critic for the New York Times), would spend his life passing as a white man though he was black.

What particularly impressed me about the book was her struggle to find herself in the midst of that news, as well as her careful study of Creole/New Orleans history and Greenwich Village in the 50s-60s.

I was also struck by the following quote because it highlighted for me the innate human struggle to find the "self", namely the questions revolving around who one is and why one is here. While I don't have the answers for myself just yet, I agree with Shirley below when she says that you cannot allow others to label you. You must find yourself within yourself.

"Shirley began to gather her things to go.

"But I don't know how to think of myself anymore," I persisted. "I don't know who I'm supposed to be."

"You're Bliss, that's who you are," she said, tugging on her jacket impatiently. "And the best thing you can do is to figure out what that means." She tapped her finger on the tabletop. "The minute you let other people label you, you let them take away your power." (Bliss Broyard, One Drop, p. 84.)


Jennifer said...

Hi Kelly,
What a great post, with a great point. I think another way we lose our power is by labeling ourselves.
Beautiful Post.
Hugs and Peace, Jen

Kelly said...

Absolutely, Jen! Sometimes I think the point of life is to remove the labels which are placed upon us, as well as the ones we ascribe to ourselves. Hugs and peace right back, Kel