What defines you?

Recently I saw an advert on UK TV that featured a TV news presenter and ex foreign correspondent stating that "We are defined by what we have seen".

I disagree. I believe we are defined by the things we cannot forget.

What we see is often forgotten, lost in the myriad of pictures and facts thrown at us by our modern technology.

The things we cannot forget haunt us through the years. They are never, can never, be forgotten.

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. ozzie59

    Thats a tough one way…but I have to disagree with you. I dont know what defines you but I dont think that what you cant forget and haunts you is the answer. I get where you are coming from but Im a strong believer in living in the right here and now. There are things that I dont forget but I dont let them haunt me…they are in the past and are part of my life but thats where they belong…in the past. I know that some things are hard to forget but I believe we grow from life experiences and maybe thats what defines us…I dunno…

  2. starlette

    Would have to say that depends on how bad are the things you have seen, would be impossible to forget horrific incidents you may have witnessed, and this we know to be true because of the number of young men committing suicide due to PTSD……..it obviously defined what they became……me personally, I think your upbringing defines who you become to some degree, if it was a bad one lots have gone on determined to better themselves……..others who have had a privileged one have gone off the rails…….but of course I would say they were the exceptions to the rule…

  3. wild-rose

    I think our beliefs define us. If you witness something and it is against your morality code, naturally it will upset and perhaps even haunt you. Did the things that haunted you, change your view or the way you conduct your life? If so, it did define you as someone who refused to align themselves with an injustice perhaps. The experiences we have shape us and define us on a daily basis, I think. When we stop being shaped and defined, we quit feeling.

  4. goldengirl1224

    Difficult question – as long as it is broad you might say. We are all individuals with different needs and life experiences. For me I would say my life experiences with family, friends, work and travel – and the situations and people I have encountered along that highway of life — some good and some bad — but they all contribute to building your character and view of life in general. I am not a religious person as such – in that I do not belong to or follow any church group – but I know that can be a life-defining process for many who draw great strength from their belief and being part of a formal religious body. Neither am I a political person – so no strongly defined views in that area either. I like to say what a dear friend of mine used to say — I Am A Child of the Universe –! Take each day as it comes and enjoy.

  5. Blush

    Way, I found your question very simple. What defines me? The love for my husband and son. My religious beliefs, and the way I choose to live my life. It’s as simple as that.

  6. Drummer

    Hello Way I do hope that the many and varied responses you have received will help you. Forgive me if I am wrong, but I do feel for your own personal loss (the very worst any human can experience) but I do assure you that it is possible for you to progress (albeit slowly) and make yourself a new life a completely different life to that which you have had – never forgetting you previous life which you should always treasure – but you must now feel free to put your toe in the water – there are many other people (possibly people you know well – who are as unsettled and as unhappy as you appear to be right now.)
    I do urge you to explore different avenues – maybe re establish old friendships or seek new ones,for by doing this you are not only hopefully stimulating your own life – but maybe doing exactly the same thing for somebody else who if feeling “Lost”.
    I favour the old saying that nothing comes to he who waits, and thank God – each day for giving me the courage to dare to take that first step toward future
    I do wish you well and hope that you will seek and find comfort anew, and by so doing share your own comfort and happiness with another.
    Kindest regards and best wishes Drummer

  7. foreveryoung2

    I think our upbringing defines us – we are products of that. I am one of 5 children who grew up with alcoholic parents, and each of us have broken marriages. We were affected in different ways by our upbringing, but the central thing to all of us is our alcoholic parents. A pattern is set from there. Alcoholism is apparently hereditary and some of us, including our children, became alcoholics. For my part I was determined not to drink to excess because of the image of my mother drunk. Most of us have strived to better our lives but have been kicked in the guts several times. There is a pattern. I’m not sure if this has defined us, but it has certainly affected our lives greatly. We can put things in the back of our minds, but they resurface from time to time. I have been depressed since childhood and this depression comes in waves for no rhyme or reason, and I just go with the flow. Friends don’t understand my depression because I laugh a lot and have a happy persona – I don’t understand it myself in the manner that it happens, but I put it down to my childhood experiences initially and the pain, sadness and crap in my life that has followed. Just my thoughts 🙂

  8. Stones345

    What defines you is the life experiences you have had. Starting from childhood through adulthood each experience, good or bad, is embedded in you. You can always choose to not let the past haunt you but it is forever there and cannot be undone. The definition of who you are is made by what you choose to do with your experiences…

  9. Linda

    What defines us? The answer is a a variety of things. What we have seen, both good and bad that had an impact. Experiences both good and bad. What we were taught during our life. Role models around us, that helped guide us toward what we wanted to become. How we treat others define the type of person we are. Our morals; things that make us happy; people we hang around; our choices we make, and other things all determine how we look to ourselves and others.

    Very good question.

  10. RedShift

    It isn’t what we say or think that defines us. It’s what we do.

    J. Austen

    And what we do seems to be a product of our environment. Our “upbringing” so to speak.