I recently was in a church setting with a large group of people, many of whom I did not know. There were the typical pleasantries and introductions, but one stood out more than any other. An experience I reflected on for days and weeks after. As we have all experienced, the typical introduction to a stranger goes something like this…..
“Hi, I am__________. And you are…?” you politely give your name and wait for the next question you already know is coming… “What do you do?” The socially prescribed answer relates to your chosen career or current employment situation, and typically stops there. Conversation over.
In this instance, however, I was caught off guard by the uncommon follow up question after providing my name… “who are you.” As opposed to the career related answer, i referenced my family connections. He stared at me somberly and said… “No, who are you? What are you about?” What was he asking? Who Am I simply cut to the core and was a question that I realized did not have a solid answer for.