I began thinking of the following question years ago when the “WWJD” fad hit American youth. While this sends a faithful message to people that ask such a question, I beg another question, “What Would I Do?”
After growing up and learning about societal roles, I firmly disagree with the bracelets that purposely, constantly ask us to think of what someone else would do in life. Granted, that other person is Jesus Christ, but why are the bracelet wearers supposed to do what He would do? Rather than acting like He would simply because it is what Jesus would do, I argue that being a religious person would, by default, cause a person to act in a religious way, not vice-versa.
I believe in being the person I want to be and not playing the role of someone who acts like the person I want to be. I dislike the idea of filling the role of a forgiver, the role of an altruist, or worse in my mind, the role of a peacemaker. Looking forward to how that person would act is living in the future. Fulfillment for me is living in the present, so why would I look to what someone else would do? Not only am I relying on another person’s decisions, but I’m not concentrating on the now.
This being said, I do recognize the importance of advice and guidance, but why do I find myself asking what a peacemaker would do today? If I am that peacemaker, I could be satisfied doing what I wanted because I would be that person I admire.
In my life, sociologists might say that I play many roles: a student, a daughter, a friend, an advocate, reconciler, creationist. However, I choose to consider all of those roles a part of me. I am not playing that role; I am that person! As a basic, ideal example, I never want to think of what a student would do on a given night. Rather, what do I want to do?
Again – ideally – I hope to BE a peacemaker, not simply pose as such. By doing things ascribed to peacemakers, I will, by default be acting like one, but not because I am playing the role, but because the behavior supports who I am. I believe in this challenge! I want to be a certain way and let actions support that persona rather than allow actions to define who I am.