Will the real YOU please stand up!
I remember a game show back in my young days, “To Tell The Truth“. Research shows me it started the year after I was born…so, 1956. It went off the air in 1968, but the thought of who we are today, and who we pretend to be is rattling in my brain pan this morning!
On the show, 3 Mystery Guests were introduced, but only one of them was the real person and the others were simply there to play the game. The panel of contestants could ask questions of the 3 Mystery Guests and, based on answers, they would determine which of the three was the real person. The Game Host would finally say, “Would the real ______ please stand up!” Each of the Mystery Guests would pretend to start to stand, and finally the real person would finally stand.
If the panel contestant got it right, then of course they were the better detective!
Through the years we try to become a better detective at perceiving the “real you” of those we know, like and love. Even those who have the harshest of personalities! (And you know who you are!) Are they really as bad (or good) as their surface image portrays? Judging words and actions, we peel away the layers of personality until we get to what and who we hope the real person truly is. Are they the same sub-strata as above ground?
Then, of course, out of the blue, the person says or does something that reveals something new to the panel. “Ahha! I knew it was too good to be true!” It seems we are always looking for the dirt, the baggage, the hidden element of personality to prove that someone cannot be who they portray to everyone else. We are satisfied that we have uncovered the “real you…”.
The “real you”. Through the years I have learned that the best way to play this game is to simply accept everyone at face value, and through a span of time the person (you!) will have every opportunity to reveal the “real you” and I can determine the truth of everything else you’ve ever said or done. Was it truth? Was it real? Did you really …. In fact, everything you are, and all you’ve ever said, is suddenly called into question.
Will the real you please stand up!
We understand that each of us has a “real you” this is formed below the surface, and is often another personality never fully revealed. Perhaps a few snippets of hidden identity is revealed in moments of stress, or sorrow. But most of us are great at keeping a lid on that other self. We mask our deeper personality with costumes (think Nordstom’s fake mud blue jeans that cost $425), masks and actions. Even when we reveal a portion of our hidden person, there is still a deeper secret identity.
Someone recently told me I was portraying an image of an “old angry white dude”… Yep. They revealed my secret. I’m old (-er). I’m white. I’m angry. Just keep believing this and you will believe a lie!
Doesn’t my kindergarten picture portray me as such? Hmmm….
To my “grandkids” at church, I’m happy to be known as Pastor Grandpa, and I just love each of them for being the sweet and innocent darlings we all know kids to be… To my bride, who knows the real me that no one else ever witnesses, I’m the loving husband of over 42 years, a very unique personality! To my kids, I’m one personality that they have experienced as a child, and probably a totally different one they experience as an adult! To my parents and siblings, I’m a different person than others know me because they’ve known me the longest.
In the same way that I’ve revealed a portion of myself above, you have revealed to me a view of your “self”, whether “you” be an individual, business (think United Airlines), or non-profit agency. The darker “you” drives me far, far away. I’m willing to let you go..and simply be me.
My “motto” on Facebook as been,
“I want to be the best me that me knows how.”
In response to a boss wanting me to be more like him.
There are few I want to be more like, but I cannot live in their shoes, nor do I truly know the “real you” … even if it is finally revealed. Just saying! Learn who you are supposed to be based on who you truly are! Even those we’ve grown to love and respect have a unique and hidden personality that we can never possibly know, or comprehend – if it were revealed our love and respect might melt away as quickly as butter in a hot skillet.
I’m just saying. “Will the real you please stand up?”