Fandango asks, “Is the concept of ‘you’ continuous or does the past ‘you’ continually fade into the present and future ‘you’? Considering that your body, your mind, and your memories are changing over time, what part of ‘you’ sticks around?”
How do I answer an existential question like this without first defining who ‘you’ are? I will skip the Who song ‘Who Are You’, because that was based on a day in the life of Pete Townshend and it does not get into the philosophical nature of life. Most of us probably have a good idea of who we think that we are, but we don’t go around asking ourselves questions about the concept of who we are, as we normally go about our day, simply existing. Self-concept is based on your personal experiences, body image, your thoughts, and how you tend to label yourself in various situations and it is generally thought of as our individual perceptions of our behavior, abilities, and unique characteristics and this can give you a mental picture of who you are as a person. You might believe that you are a good friend, or you are a kind person.
Fandango is interested in time periods, specifically the past, the present and the future and everything changes with time, that is until the end of time, which I will skip as that is way too deep for a Wednesday. I am going to assume that Fandango is interested in getting our thoughts on whether or not that as we age, do we still maintain our Awareness, Understanding, Perception, Knowledge, Abilities and Skills that we have accumulated over life. If we do lose these things over time, has time robbed us of a part of ourselves?
I would like to think that I am the improved version of my old self, even tough my body was in better shape when I was younger, I feel that I am a much better person now than I once was. I have all of my body parts, except the useless cataracts that grew on my eyeballs which ruined my vision and that one wisdom tooth that I had pulled out, so basically baring a few extra pounds that I put on and the loss of hair on my head, I am still me. I could end up getting Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia some day and that would be a shame, but I try to keep my mind active and that helps the real me stick around.
Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #80, which was a lot of fun.