The Real You

Most people are identified by one or two main talents or strengths. When you are describing me to someone, you probably say: “You know Rajeev, the guy who does music.” You associate music with me. If you are talking about a painter, you say: “You know so and so, the one who paints.” Most of us are ok with being identified by either our talents or the things we do really well. Self-worth is a hell of a game we play isn’t it? We draw our deepest identity from such volatile things. If you are the one who paints, what is your worth in the presence of someone who paints better than you?

Today I’m not really talking about self worth. I’m talking about who you are when you are stripped of the thing you do really well. Do you ever think about how you would see people if their best quality or gifting is taken from them? America likes to view people based on what they have to show. We have all been turned into a circus – competing for survival and attention. Whoever has the best tricks gets the most credit. Take an inventory of the people in your life – those closest to you even. Take their 1 or 2 identifiers – now make those identifiers disappear – ready? – are they as interesting or impressive as you thought they were? Do the same with yourself. Take the thing that most people know you as or credit you for – now pretend those things never exited – who are you?

We view people the way we view ourselves. People who can’t love others don’t love themselves. If you are constantly identifying yourself with what you do, then you will value people based on what they do. What happens when people can’t do anything that is appealing to you? Where will they stand in your perception of them? Will you think less of them? Will you think them as futile?

The sad thing is that people who are exceptional at a few things forget about the real things that make up a human being. A friend of mine was describing a girl the other day. He told me that she is so pretty that she forgot about what else it takes to be a human being. I laughed – really hard – but the laughter turned into such deep sorrow. We do this – whether we are “pretty” or pretty in certain areas. We can forget how to develop in the intangible things that can help this world. Being a decent performer and musician is not enough to help people and the calling that God has given me. I can hide behind music all I want – but one day, music may be taken away from me. Should I stop living at this point? Or will there be things that make up Rajeev that are still full of love – full of value. This is why I refuse to go as “Rajeev’ in the music industry. I do not want to be just associated with music – that is for Jeevo. Rajeev seems to be aiming for more than music.

If you are great at what you do, or have something that the world is enamored by, be on your guard. Chances are that you haven’t fully thought out your humanity. It is easier for people like you to hold onto your identifiers, and to be utterly underdeveloped in the most important areas of your life. Who in the world are you when no one is watching? Who are you behind your gift?

This world is full of various dimensions. There will come significant moments where you will need all of you to fight – not just your cool gift or area of uniqueness. You will have to rely on every bone in your body. A killer singing voice is not going to help you battle depression. Contrary to the romanticized notions in music, you can’t sing your way out of the blues – You will just sound really good in the miry pit. You can’t use your singing voice to sustain a marriage that demands a true heart. You can’t sing your way through being a good friend – being humble – being loving – being loyal. Your voice doesn’t mean you are wise. Your voice doesn’t give you the ability to hustle or make money. Your voice doesn’t automatically make you amiable.

Who are you? The world doesn’t need another person with something unique about them. What the world needs is authenticity – people who have substance beyond what they are known for. Take away everything that you are known for – who are you then?

Peace, and much love to you – Jeevo.

One Response

  1. Anonymous

    i had to read your post twice, it was that impactful! What you're saying is very true, especially the part about how our view of ourselves relates directly to our view of others and the fact that you can't manufacture substance. Too few people address this (even though it's the core of who we are – Thank you for challenging us to know ourselves more truly.