CAMERON ALFORD | CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST
Who are you?
Without a name, birth date, or a racial category to define you, who are you at the core?
I believe we, as humans, categorize ourselves in order to feel a sense of belonging to something.
When I think about acceptance, I don’t think about being recognized as an African-American. I don’t think about my name, the people I know, or my birthday.
Rather, I think about the concept of being a human being. I think about the capacity to love. I think about the ability to care in the midst of evil.
These characteristics I have described, good or bad, cannot be seen on a passport or driver’s license.
Essentially, in order to be remembered, we must step beyond the obvious categories we may fill.
I certainly want to be remembered, not for the people I know, nor for the things I do, have done or will do. I simply want to be remembered for me.
The name, my name, is Cameron Michael Alford and I was born on Oct. 13, 1994.
But even with this in mind, I am still not completely sure of who I am.
As individuals, we are characterized by who we know, what we have done and what we plan to do. The issue is that this is not enough to differentiate ourselves from one another.
In another case, Dennis Bacon, a freshman digital media production major, said he is trying to find his way in the world.
He sees himself as a dependable friend. He said he is willing to go the extra mile to be a helping hand to others.
Bacon said he has noticed people feel comfortable coming to him for advice because he has made sacrifices to help others in need.
This is proof that love is not a trait that can be seen at first glance. You have to feel true compassion in your soul.
Love, just like evil, can be represented, but it cannot physically be seen.
It seems that, generally, humans need to physically see to believe, trust and process what they feel.
But I think there are times in life where what you feel cannot be described within the usual frame of reality.
I believe that indescribable feeling cannot be categorized because it is something unique within us that makes us as all different.
It is that feeling that causes us to process the same situations differently. That indescribable feeling is our processor. It is what motivates us.
It is that distinctive feeling that sparks innovation, new ideas and fresh perspectives.
Freshman Aaron Marshall said he believes he brings original ideas to the table.
His philosophy is all about creating and improving himself and others around him.
“If you can inspire somebody, and they look up to you, then that’s monumental,” he said. It is that same idea that can bring a whole community together.
So when we ask people “who are you?” I think the actual question should be “how do you process life?”
Understanding how someone operates is important because it helps us recognize our differences.
I want to learn how to embrace each unique individual and work together to thrive as a community.
That is my life’s passion. I just want to be accepted for that.