Those who take a serious spiritual journey with commitment build a personality in themselves. But what does personality mean, especially in our context of spirituality? A dictionary will be of little use in this case, since we will find definitions that are too simple or too complex; encyclopedias take psychology as a reference, but from a spiritual point of view we sense that personality is something more than what psychology can identify. The most current and banal perception that often circulates about personality can help us in this case: it is not uncommon to see that it is often considered synonymous with stubbornness, but, even more precisely, knowing what you want. In this sense we can observe that certain children, or even certain animals, show making their choices with greater decision and greater ability to defend them, in one way or another, than their own kind. Of course, knowing what we want has a very different value between those who are sure they want a candy and those who, for example, definitely want to grow in their ability to love. There may be those who believe they have a great personality simply because they have particular tastes regarding fashion, or the songs they like, or what they prefer to buy at the supermarket; in short, the industry is able to deceive us deeply, making us consumer machines that believe they have a marked personality for the simple fact of choosing one product over another. Thus we understand that depersonalization is enormous all over the world today, because the industry has now armed itself with an arsenal of psychological shrewdness, capable of making us want what enslaves us, standardizes us, makes us flock. On the other hand, even the complacency of philosophical parlor speeches can constitute a great self-deception about perceiving oneself as having personalities.
So, once the deception regarding being gifted with a strong personality can hide in every corner, what can guide us to something that is truly original, valid, creative? The path that I have lived and continue to pursue for years in my life keeps telling me that the way is … the way, that is, the way to have personality is walking. This is due to the fact that walking also means continuous work of self-criticism, therefore continuous effort to grow and evaluate the criteria that we are using to do it. If one walks, he does not need to be a scholar, or a stubborn one, or one who makes decisions quickly, in order to have personality: if he walks he already has the maximum personality and everything he needs to make his personality growing continuously .
In this regard, I find the indication of Jesus “Blessed are the poor in spirit” significant (Mt 5: 3). The poor in spirit may seem to correspond exactly to those who are perceived as lacking in personality, poor in personality. However, we can keep in mind that the sayings of Jesus often take on a clearer and more meaningful meaning when understood as self-perception: blessed are those who self-perceive themselves poor in spirit. In other words, our thoughts immediately fly to Socrates, who was intimately proud to be able to say “I know I don’t know“. It is not a question of being modest, but of self-considering people on the road, who have a way to go and who find in walking a personality that grows inside.