There was a time where something that I was heavily involved in was suddenly taken away from me. It was many years ago and now I can't even distinctly remember what the activity was. I just know that it was something that people in my circle kind of knew me for. A buddy of mine sat with me as I licked my wounds and let the dust settle. He then remarked, "Well now, part of the counterculture that defined you is no more." I thought his observation amusing and the notion that something external helps to define me to others kind of sensitized me to this kind of thinking.
So, the grand question of the day is, what are you involved in that serves to define you to the outside world? It is worth pondering a bit. Is the activity honorable? Scandalous? Pointless? Inane? It is this latter category that I will touch on today. I go way back to my time spent as an undergraduate in college. I went to a university located in upstate New York. The summers there were reasonably mild and pleasant, but seemed to last for only about 2 weeks. The rest of the time, the land was covered with glaciers for as far as the eye could see. The average temperatures hovered about 50 degrees below absolute zero. Furthermore, it was always snowing and windy and miserable. Yet there was this guy that I saw regularly on campus who wore corduroy "short shorts" all throughout the year. One day I had a conversation with this guy (as he knew a friend of mine) and I asked him about his choice of apparel. He told me that the whole experience was actually pretty miserable, but he dressed like that because he had actually gained some level of notoriety and he liked the attention. (Let's pause now and let this sink in a bit.)
I think the message here is excruciatingly clear. Be careful what you let define you or what you chose to let define you. Make smart, reasoned, and intentional choices or you could end up like that wackadoodle in his short shorts.