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Who am I?: The Question of Persona

Growing up is, at least in part, a process of learning to ask, and learning to answer, certain fundamental questions. These include timeless queries such as “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” Our sons, in particular, might ask themselves, “What does it mean to be a man?” and “What is the point of my life right now, given that I’m not a man yet?”

Our boys’ attempts to answer these questions, along with the answers those efforts yield, will lead them to a certain self-awareness—an identity of sorts. Ultimately, we want our boys to know themselves as they are: beloved sons of a Creator God who loves them deeply as a Father. Their lives, then, become an adventure of deepening in that awareness and of living accordingly. The earlier our lads can start down this path, the better.

In this episode, our headmaster explores:

  1. How we all develop self-awareness
  2. How our boys, in particular, do this, especially by means of a “persona”
  3. How we, as parents, can foster a healthy persona in our sons.

As the great sage, Yogi Berra, reminds us: you’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.  This advice is true enough, but we can add that if you don’t get going, you never will.  So, let us not be paralyzed by perfection.  As we help our sons sail out of port, we can trust that with the help of good friends, good teachers, and the Good God Himself, it won’t be too long before he finds himself—and, even better, gives that self away out of love for the other.  


  • 2:50 Introduction 
  • 5:44 The Anxiety of Not Knowing Where to Go 
  • 9:22 Lecture Outline
  • 10:15 How Your Discover Your Who Your Are
    • 11:10 The Inward Way: Learning About Ourselves by Self-examination 
    • 16:35 The Outward Way: Learning About Ourselves by Interacting with Others
  • 20:45 How a Young Man Navigates Identity Today 
    • 20:58 Comfort in Numbers 
    • 29:21 Developing a Persona 
  • 32:51 What Parents and Teachers Can Do to Help Boys Develop a Healthy Sense of Self 
    • 33:05 Identify and Guide the Persona 
    • 39:29 Show Boys Their Deeper Layers 
    • 47:52 The Power of Example 
  • 52:56 Conclusion: Why You Should Not Worry

Also on The Forum

Mr. Alvaro de Vicente on Moral Imagination: Part I 

Mr. Alvaro de Vicente on Moral Imagination: Part II

The Issue of Identity: Who does your son think he is? By Mr. Rich Moss 

About the Guest

Alvaro de Vicente

Headmaster, The Heights School

In addition to his responsibilities as headmaster of The Heights, Alvaro acts as a mentor to high schoolers, and teachers senior Apologetics.

Learn More

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