Recently we enjoyed an episode of 'Who do you think you are?' on the television. We watched it with some neighbours for whom the setting was significant, featuring Gibraltar, location of some family origins. It prompted all kinds of discussion about the places we’ve lived in and how they impact us. It also triggered some exploration; my daughter considered her roots more deeply and researched the family tree, keen to see where her musical talent has come from.

There are many things which define us as people, and family background is certainly significant. Our education, financial circumstances and neighbourhood all play a large part.

Ultimately, it caused me to reflect at a deeper level. Living in St Albans, the people I mix with, my holidays, my job – these are rather like the clothes that I wear. Who I am is something different, it’s a set of beliefs and a core identity. Often that appears most vividly when life becomes tough; the testing times are the ones that cast a light on who we really are. Sometimes we may be surprised, realising that we have hidden strengths and can cope with far more than we expected.

It is also worth asking ourselves who we want to be. Life throws so much at us, time passes rapidly, and we are often too caught up in it all to pause for thought. Perhaps it’s a good opportunity to ask yourself if the person you are is really who you want to be?

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