Today I remembered what triggered the thoughts that led to my blog about Proteus and transformation. Before I wrote the blog yesterday I could not quite recall why I was thinking along these lines. Not at all unusual now for me to forget something that happened seconds before so while it was a little frustrating when I could not quite recall the source of my musings, I have become accustomed to it.
But I remembered today. On Friday I was rearranging some books I had at work and came across one that contained some jokes. I had, go figure, forgotten some of the jokes in the book which I'd read only a few months ago. The good news about this is I laughed all over again when I got to some good ones. The one that made me think about the hazards of transformation went like this:
Shapiro one day walks into the bathroom looks at the mirror and does not like what he sees. He is overweight; his hair an unkempt mess; his face looks jowly like someone who is not only chubby but sad, his clothes look sloppy, and on top of all this he notices that the short walk up the stairs to the bathroom has him breathing heavily.
Enough of this, says Shapiro. He begins an exercise regimen, cuts down on fatty foods, gets a haircut, goes to a clothier and gets some duds that smack of class. Two months later he looks in the mirror and he looks great. Thin, trim, handsome, well coiffed--just terrific.
Shapiro leaves his house, starts to walk across the street and is run over by a truck. Lying in the street, about to perish, he turns to the sky and wheezes, "God, how could you let this happen?'
God responds: "To tell you the truth Shapiro, I didn't recognize you."
When I read this joke, it made me think of how we--or at least I at times--have accommodated who I was to meet a particular circumstance. And while the analogy between Shapiro trying to get in shape, and someone copping a different persona to lose her or himself, is not quite apt--I do think that unlike contestants in a sporting event, we must be careful to stay true to ourselves and not continuously adapt to accommodate a changing environment. Otherwise not only God, but we ourselves, will be unable to recognize us.