It's Not Who I Am Inside That Defines Me

In a scene from the movie “Batman Begins”, the Dark Knight said to Rachel (the DPP) “It is not what I am inside but what I do that defines me”.

Is that true?

If so, does that negate all those “It’s what’s you are inside that counts” philosophies?

I find myself haunted by that phrase. Because if I substitute the words “who I am” with any of the following, I find myself being confronted by my responsibility for my actions and consequences.

The substitute words:

- what I feel
- what I think
- what I intent
- how angry I get
- how “motivated” I am
- how much (or lack of) money I have
- what IM ebooks/memberships/courses/etc I’ve bought
- insert any other reason or excuse you can think of

“It’s not (insert the substitutes here) but what I do that defines me (or my character/life/success/destiny/results/etc)”

“It’s not who I am but what I do that defines me”

“It’s not who I am but what I do that defines me“

That is a scary proposition. That sets up a standard that brooks no excuse for not doing what needs to be done...and for stopping what shouldn’t be done. Much harder than staying comfy in my own little zone, choosing to believe what I believe, and using those “beliefs” to justify that “who I am” precludes my doing/not doing something, thereby excusing the results (or lack thereof) that I’m experiencing right now in my life.

I find myself thinking of certain things that I should be doing but aren’t and my thoughts going “but that’s just because...”. Then along comes this excuse-killer and stops me cold in my tracks. “It’s not ‘who I am’ but what I do that defines me” and I have to literally sit down and confront the reality that I had been evading and avoiding. And do something about it.

That little ditty has been pursuing me ever since. Somebody get it back to its owner and get a refund please! Then again, we, each of us, are its owner, and it can never be given away. And there are no refunds.

You can shut it up, paint over it, keep it out of sight, whatever. But in the end… there it is. Like the Joker, it smiles and smirks and laughs at your pitiful attempts to dislodge it. And if you still do nothing about it, then, like the Joker, it asks you a more sinister question, because the the consequences of your failure to confront it are similar to the metaphorical consequences of doing exactly what the question asks:

“Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?”