Daily Batman: Who I am underneath, or, what defines us


via iheartbatman on the tumblr.

“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” B. Wayne, Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan, 2005).

Agree? Disagree?

Deeds speak volumes for the definition of ourselves, but I think “who we are underneath” is equally important to defining us. In a perfect world, sure, “what you do” is the outer reflection of an ideally ordered inner self. But who the unholy effing heck is that organized and in accord?

The roads not taken, the thoughts kept to ourselves that make up this rich and sometimes treacherous interior landscape of our minds — these are as much an important part of knowing the true core and definition of ourselves as the demonstrative, observable acts any joker on the outside sees, acts that could follow either in accordance with or defiance of that secret inner roadmap. What we are underneath almost arguably eclipses deeds, which can be true or can just as easily be lies that we tell the outside world to keep our inside self a secret. Underneath is where the real and unhideable truth sits.

We are all just knocking around leaving impressions and confiding secrets but sometimes lying and sometimes acting what we would term “out of character,” so really the two things — “what we do” and “what we are underneath” — must be taken together to even approach defining someone.

Not clear why that is set up to be mutually exclusive in this quote. I’m suddenly not sure this is as mind-blowingly brilliant a quote as I thought at first blush lo five years ago.

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One Response to “Daily Batman: Who I am underneath, or, what defines us”

  1. John Salisbury Says:

    Of course our definition of ourselves includes the underneath bits but to see ourselves as others see us is to accept that we are judged by what we do–or don’t do.
    “The road to hell,” etc

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