Who Am I?An Op-Ed Introduction by Jackson Avery Cain

Who am I? It’s a question any self respecting sentient life form should ask oneself. It becomes a personal quest, your life goal in many respects, to discover just who you are. So it is certainly galling when we come across those who want to fit us into a box, define us by a term of their own choosing, rather than listening to the very person whom they are trying to define.

You might be surprised, perhaps not, to know that I rarely think of myself in terms of “boxes” that I fit into. Still you want to know, “Who are you?”

Well I am a forty nine year old unemployed writer with chronic back pain and sometimes debilitating anxiety. A born Jew, non practicing Buddhist, liberal intellectual (who knows he isn’t as smart as he wishes he was). I am polyamorous because I believe the best form of a loving relationship for myself is one that accepts that I can’t be all things to my significant others. My pronoun of choice is he. I am a Canadian, born in Quebec who believes that diversity is the life blood of a healthy society. Cannabis is my legal drug of choice preferably as an edible because it helps me to ignore my back pain and manage my anxiety. I am gender indifferent (in that if you are smart and creative I may be attracted to you). Frankly I am not a fan of labels of any kind; I don’t want to be defined by predetermined boxes.  You and I will get along as long as you adhere to one simple principle in life, the principle of selflessness is of prime importance to me and I believe that it informs anything that you might think defines you.

The world is redefining itself; it too is answering the question of “Who am I”, and it breaks down to those who would reach out with hand extended offering help, or those who say this is mine and you can’t have any.

Democracy is an ideal that has had a truly short life span when you look at the entirety of organized civilization. Of course, that is if you still believe in objective truth and fact, for there is a segment of society that has decided to abandon reason because it is simply not convenient. It shouldn’t be that surprising then that there are people for whom the answer to the question of “Who are we?”, the answer becomes “Tell us who to be”. There are people who are seemingly looking for an authoritarian figure to rule over them and define for them who they are.

For some of us our very uniqueness is our strength, I have no empirical proof, but I do suspect that those who think of themselves as unique are the same people reaching out a hand to the rest of the world asking “Are you like me? Do you want to help? Let us heal and listen to one another”.

Then there are those who only find comfort and safety when they look around and see a uniform blandness that reflects themselves in the people around them. They seem not only afraid of change, but feel personally threatened by it. They want to build walls to keep out anyone who isn’t their mirror image. They haven’t realized that the walls that some would like to erect are to keep you in.

The truth is none of us exist in a bubble; not people, nor countries, or ideologies, everything that lives exists with the likelihood the often used adage of the “butterfly effect” does affect us. We can see evidence of this now more than ever. In our modern day where anyone can have a platform for their ideas, those ideas can spread and affect people far removed from your own realm of experience. So I arrive finally to this website that The Onyxx and I began so long ago with my voice ready to be heard, and willing to speak my truth, because my uniqueness is all I have to offer.

It’s a leap, I know that, my whole hypothesis depends on you and I having a shared imagination. Like all ideas, it requires listening and seeing beneath the surface of the words. I doubt I will ever make what I write a particularly easy read; I know that I can be vague, play with words and sentences in a way that is made to entertain, frustrate, infuriate, and challenge. This is who I am though and I am unlikely to change. But I will evolve and learn, explore and try new things, I will be right and I will be wrong, for after all, I am a fallible person.

by

Jackson Avery Cain

Be seeing you,

All rights reserved “©” 2018 Brian Nathan Schwartz

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