Who Are You? Don’t Let Your Identity Get In Your Way To Happiness

Your Identity Defines Your Destiny

There was a man who spent time in custody of the French Police for many years, all because he stole a lof of bread to feed his starving family. He was sentenced to many years of hard labour and labeled a criminal. He never accepted this label. However, once released, he discovers that he can’t get an honest day’s work. He is scorned and rejected because of his status as an ex-convict. His name is Valjean.

Finally in a state of helplessness, Valjean begins to accept the identity that society has labeled him. He became a criminal. One night, a kind priest saw that he was starving out in the cold, he invited Valjean in to the churce, fed him and gave him shelter for the night. Yet to fulfill his identity as a criminal, he stole the church’s humble silver setting.

While out on the streets, patrolling policemen stopped him for a routine check, they found out that not only was Valjean an ex-convict, he also had on him the priest’s most valuable possessions – a crime punishable by a life of hard labour.

Valjean was brought back to the priest. The priest was presented the facts yet he smiled warmly at both the policemen and Valjean. He insisted that the silverware were a gift to Valjean and reminded Valjean that he forgot to take the two remaining silver candlesticks. The bewildered policemen were sent away while the priest winked at Valjean. He told Valjean that he was his brother and that Valjean no longer belonged to evil; that he was truly an honest man and a child of God.

Valjean brooded over the priest’s words. He made up his mind. He tore up his prison papers, moved to another town and assumed a new identity. In 6 years, he became a wealthy factory owner.

– An adaptation to the first part of Les Miserables by Victor Marie Hugo.

In life, every mistake we make teaches us something more about ourselves. Embrace what you learn from your mistakes and do better.  Some people complain that they can’t because they are born this way, that all they have done is just part of their character; Then this is what they do not see, that “Who you are is only as good as who you believe yourself to be”.

If the world can change, what makes you think that you can’t?


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