James Baldwin. To be found in the ‘Human Interest’ or ‘Human Authors’section of your bookshop
|“The purpose of the individual is to become greater than the definitions he has inherited” James Baldwin
I found this quote a couple of weeks ago in a book called ‘The business you were born to create” by Nick Williams which is a great read and covers a lot of ground.
It has stuck with me since. I’ve been mulling it over whilst sat on the DLR and walking to and from the shops. Last night I was thinking about the statement again, and how it relates to different aspects of our behaviour and psychology.
I am very much aware of the depth of meaning this statement holds having come from writer James Baldwin.
James Baldwin wrote with the intention of expressing as full a range of human experiences as he possibly could. I think he was very much aware, not only of the reductive definitions that were imposed on him by others, but recognised the tendency for the individual to confine themselves to a world view or experience equally as narrow, and thus miss out on the possibility of realising their full potential. A kind of self inflicted ‘Myopia’ so to speak.
I guess it’s about being who you are, yet not denying yourself the possibility of being all you could be?