You are a Dirt Creature

You are a Dirt Creature

What stories do we tell about ourselves and how do they affect our identity?

The Hebrew word adam sounds like another Hebrew word adamah which means “ground”. So, the story goes, God makes the dirt creature out of the dirt. You’d think in the next movement, God would put these new beings to work to build Him some shrine or temple. But God does something unexpected.

Jesse HerefordJun 6, 2023, 7:17 AM

If I were to ask, “who are you?” what would you say? Perhaps you’d start with your name, your family of origin or your cultural identity. If pushed, maybe you’d identify with your religion (if you have one) or social group. Answering such a question is also heavily influenced by your family of origin and the community you grew up in. But one of the most important factors I’ve found in self-identity are the stories we tell about ourselves.

Historian Yuval Harari has argued that our stories have significantly contributed to our success as a species. Concepts such as justice, equality and human rights are, as he put it in a 2015 TED Talk, “very good stories, very positive stories. But they are still just fictional stories we’ve invented.” Whether you believe such an extreme position or not, you can’t deny the power of stories.

Two-wheel tragedy

As an active kid growing up in the ’90s, my friends and I were seldom out of sight of our bikes. However, there was one day of the week we were prohibited from riding our bikes: Saturday. If you’re not aware, Seventh-day Adventists celebrate Saturday as their Sabbath. It’s a day for worship, socialising and food. It was not a day for riding bikes. Why? I don’t know! There certainly aren’t any commands against the riding of bicycles in the Bible. All we knew was that it wasn’t allowed. Luckily, my parents had a more laissez-faire approach to that particular rule, so we mostly got away with it.

For more of the article, go to Signs of the Times

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