After I taught a class the other day, someone asked me where I had come up with what I had taught.

I had no idea.

I could no more parcel out the composite of what I had learned and shared then as I could define the single meal that had made me 6’3”.

Along the path of my life people had given here a little and there a little—someone taught a church lesson, a friend shared a thought, a singer intoned a song, an artist created an image, a prophet recorded scripture, a parent showed the way, a teacher provided an insight, an author published a word, the Spirit whispered truth.

I had a sudden moment of clarity that I’m a composite of everyone and everything around me. Countless people, known and unknown, have contributed a particle that has made up my whole. To quote philosopher Adam Miller, “When we look carefully and deeply at ourselves to see what our identity consists of, we may be surprised to find only the names of others” (Rube Goldberg Machines, 2012, 44). I am indebted to someone else, in some way, for everything I have, enjoy, know, and am. I get to share this personal amalgamation with others. We all do. I hope to contribute a particle of good into them.

Anthony Sweat
Anthony is an assistant professor and author. He received his PhD from Utah State University.
Anthony Sweat
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