Over a lifetime, the answer to that question is renewedly defined. Whether or not we like who we are may depend on who we think we are.
In the 19th century, Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science in the teaching of Christ Jesus. It casts light on who we are by showing how God made us. At a time when slavery was practiced in the United States, Mrs. Eddy recognized it as impossible that God could make one of His children subject to another. She advocated the rights of women to inherit property and manage their own lives. She urged both sexes to care deeply about the needs of those in the community and to be well versed in world affairs. To be well educated. To leave a mark on the world by following the teaching of Jesus in daily life.
Further, her discovery of Christian Science - of God's laws - offered healing and regeneration to both men and women, through a more complete understanding of identity as spiritual, as having its source in God alone.
Mrs. Eddy found in the Bible an answer to the question "Who am I?" - an answer that satisfies the heart yearning for something more than what appears at the surface of daily life. She wrote to some church members: "As an active portion of one stupendous whole, goodness identifies man with universal good. Thus may each member of this church rise above the oft-repeated inquiry, What am I? to the scientific response: I am able to impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing" ("The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany," Pg. 165).
If the ability to "impart truth, health, and happiness" gives reason for our existence, then the parameters of our decisionmaking, our career choices - and yes, even our every thought, word, and action - broaden in scope.
Jesus was obviously very conscious of who he was. As the Son of God, he had a holy mission. His life and his healing works showed that he was aware of his spiritual identity, his unity with his heavenly Father; that he found power in God's Word and felt the presence of God with him.
Jesus' great contribution to society, in both the past and the present, is recognized by much of the world. But what does it have to do with your own identity and your own value to the world? Jesus said, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12).
We might want to ask ourselves something. Do people remember Jesus because he was a carpenter? Probably not. There have been carpenters beyond counting. It is the impact Jesus made on mankind through his timeless teaching, his healing work, and his conquering of death - through resurrection and ascension - that has set him apart from the world in general.
Through his embodiment of the Christ, the true idea of God, Jesus imparted "truth, health, and happiness." This can be verified by all who read the Bible. Touching the edge of his garment, a woman who had had a hemorrhage for 12 years found her health immediately restored (see Luke 8:43-48). She sought Jesus, pressing through a crowd to come in contact with him. Whether she knew it or not, she was seeking the truth of her spiritual identity. Jesus showed the world throughout eternity the way to health and happiness, through understanding that God makes us perfect.
Following the teaching of Jesus daily and conscientiously, as our "career of choice," gives us a whole new reason for living. It clearly defines who we are, the reason for our existence. It gives us new purpose and identity; we are living to glorify God, whom we love. Our lives take on added dimension.
Whether we are carpenters, executives, school bus drivers, and/or parents, is not what matters most in the wide scheme of things. As the children of God, we each have a holy mission of our own to perform. Understanding and living the teachings of Jesus brings out God-given potential better than any other criteria. It reveals the truth about us and about our relation to God. Increasingly, our lives not only glorify God but also reveal to searching humanity their own reason for existence.