Almost every person I meet is so hung up about who they are, what they do, what they know. So many people think they need to call and label themselves an Asst Vice President, Regional Manager, Senior UI Developer and so on to truly feel like themselves. We are so much more than the nouns, titles and labels we assign ourselves.
In 2010, Stephen Fry was interviewed by “14-year-old Eden Parris in an interview for a Radio Times feature that enabled young readers to meet their TV heroes.” During the course of the interview, he “warned Parris that language could shape and limit people’s ambitions”:
Oscar Wilde said that if you know what you want to be, then you inevitably become it – that is your punishment, but if you never know, then you can be anything. There is a truth to that. We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who does things – I write, I act – and I never know what I am going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.