Peanut butter philosophy  

*picture of old man, words over the top* You are the things you have done

*picture of infant, words over the top* And the things you’re going to do. 

We are what we do. 

That’s an ad I watched several times while standing in line at the bank, behind three elderly folks discussing the state of politics today. 

I was totally unaware that today’s dose of existential philosophy would come while standing in a long queue behind someone with gas, with the smell of fried onions wafting in from the food cart outside. Competing scents aside, it has me thinking.

Are we truly the sum of our actions? Has every decision, move, idea, led us to the place we are now, and created the person we are right at this moment? Are those things who we are? And what about the things we haven’t done yet? Given that we can’t know what we’re going to be doing a year from now, how can that be part of who we are? Or is that just going to be an extension of the being we are today? Once the wheel starts turning from the very first action we take, is the person you become, eating Oreos at 2a.m. with a glass of Merlot, inevitable? 

And is that all we are? Just the sum of what we’ve done? Is that what creates us?  Those three older people in front of me; are they simply the sum of action upon action that eventually brought them to that moment in time? Are the things I’ve done in the past an indication of the awful individual I am as a whole? Can you do anything to change things, so the balance tips in another direction? Or does it just create a larger sum overall? 

We are what we do. 

I watch cartoons and eat popcorn. I read. I write. I love. I ponder. I cry. I laugh. I eat peanut butter straight from the jar, and that will likely never stop. I’ve got a mountain of regrets, and a whirlpool of memories. I’ve got hopes for the future. 

What does that make me? 

What does that make you? 

3 thoughts on “Peanut butter philosophy  

  1. Remember the context of where you heard that. My Christian worldview expresses that human beings have value not for what we do, but because of who we are. Specifically, we are all God’s children.


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