Identity Theft
Defining Who We Are

by Stanley J. Leffew

Identity theft! What defines you in life?

We've all seen them!

The commercials use the voices of people clearly not the ones speaking to relay what can happen when someone else becomes you. Almost everyday another story is reported on this growing intrusion into our lives.

No, we're not going to talk about that kind of identity theft.

I want to talk about how we are being infiltrated by a foe so dangerously subtle that most of us don't even know it is happening.

What defines your identity?

What do you feel best identifies you in life?

Are you a victim of identity theft?

Some of the ways our identity is being defined today:

* He who has the most "stuff" wins.
* See you at the top.
* Money, Money, Money, Money. (Isn't this a song?)
* It's all about me and my need to be happy.

I remember growing up in an era where a person's identity was found in far more simple pleasures - FAITH and FAMILY. As Katherine Lee Bates penned so beautifully in "America The Beautiful":

"America, America, May God thy gold refine, Til' all SUCCESS be NOBLENESS and EVERY GAIN DIVINE."

I wonder, do we sometimes confuse popularity with success?

If we ran every noted and famous person through the test of NOBLENESS and DIVINE, how many would pass? Is what many define as success today really gold, or, is it "fools gold"?

My parents never used their status quo, position or income to determine their identity. Money was a means for enhancing the identity they found at home and not the home for their identity.

Don't let the cultural trend and persuasion define who you are in life.

Climbing the corporate ladder, accumulating "stuff" and making money is only a mirage for real success. Careful, this type of subtle indentity theft foe is lurking in the shadows of all our lives.

May we often be reminded that the greatest gift we can ever give the world is a home with love, stability, faith and character.

My wife and I will continue to tell our children over and over again that they are our greatest claim to fame.


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