“Diba UP student ka?” / “You’re a UP student, right?”
Whenever somebody asks me that, I feel a little shiver on my self-worth. And there’s a hint of pride while saying Yes I am!
Because, why not? As a person who came from the top university of this country, in terms of academic excellence, there’s some sort of class that only us could be part or belong to. Like, we’re somehow special in some ways.
However, that question doesn’t always imply greatness, but huge expectations.
“Diba UP student ka? Dapat alam mo to.” / “You’re a UP student, right? Then you should know this.”
More than those short-time pleasures, I feel like I’ve been identified by this one very thing. That’s me, my life, all that I am. It’s like I’ve been sort out to belong to some group of people who should be like this and like that. A stereotype.
I remembered somebody asked me why I don’t feel confident enough to speak in front of a few people when I’m a UP graduate. And I was taken aback.
Should I be confident just because I graduated from such school?—what’s on my mind the whole time.
I was expected to be excellent in everything that I do because of my educational background. I’m expected to be constantly at my best, and even push myself beyond of what I can, with the fear of being judged if I’d do less. Because I’m supposed to be better than many people, in many different ways.
But that is just not the real case. And I wouldn’t want to spend this whole page defending myself because indeed, I’m no better than anybody else. I may have higher grades, yet that doesn’t define me as better than you are. Being a UP student is just a little part of me. And your grades is just a small piece of you.
There are more to me, and you.
I love music. I like playing instruments even if I don’t play excellently. I love writing and reading different kinds of books. I love taking photos. I speak what’s on my mind. I have a lot of things going on my head everyday besides academics, hobbies which I could do for hours.
I love connecting with people. I may not be good at speaking the right words but I love giving gifts and sending letters.
And at the same time, I do mistakes. I have many flaws. A lot of things I suck at doing. And ultimately, I sin.
We do that to others, too. Identify them with how we’ve know them., or how we’ve received the impression they gave us.
We may know our boss whose life is all about working on the office, or we may know our pastor whose life evolved only inside the church, or our professor who never leaves his desk full of scientific papers. But we didn’t even consider what they’re passionate about. The things they do that’s beyond for our eyes to see. Their personalities, who they are with different people and in different circumstances.
You see, there are more to a person than the impression they have instilled in us. We really can’t tell what that person is all about just based on one truth that we know about them. We might even be surprised to know what they’re fond of and not.
“Aren’t you a good God? Then why did this happen?”
Sounds familiar, right? Because we’ve been doing it along with God—the all knowing God.
As if we know Him and His definition of good.
There are still a lot of things that we have to know about God, too. He is loving, merciful, kind, just… and the list goes on, and each of them we may not fully comprehend.
He is a lot of things that we cannot fathom. And that is simply amazing, isn’t it? Because, can you really imagine God being just one thing?
That would just be horrible for us because a god that’s completely understood by its people is nothing different than the people that worship it.
And our God, the One who can never be completely measured by us, is the only one who has the right to give you your identity.
You are His child. A royalty. Someone with a joyful purpose.
And that identity can never be replaced nor tampered.
So don’t let others tell you who you are or who you should be because they don’t know you. They never will know you better than your Father.
And that irreplaceable identity gives you a sense of security that you can be excellent and do things with love without the fear of making a mistake or being misunderstood.
With that identity, you don’t have to live up to others expectations but you can serve them the best way you can.
With God given identity, you can love and be gentle with others, to glorify your Father who makes you able to do great things through Jesus Christ.
You are not who people say you are. You are who God says you are.