“One and the same human being is, at various ages, under various circumstances, a totally different human being.”
Solzhenitsyn: The Gulag Archipelago
I am not a vain person. I rarely study myself in a mirror. My hair is curly so I never comb it – I just wet my hands and run them through my hair when I splash water in my face each morning after I wake up. I never trim my beard or get a haircut until my wife complains that I am starting to look shaggy. The few times I do look in a mirror I see a stranger looking back.
It has occurred to me that I am a totally different person – an incarnation of who I once was. I have the same DNA of that earlier person, but there the likeness ends. I do not look the same: my hair is silver, my ears are larger, my facial features are different, I am less physically fit. The difference doesn’t end there: I have totally different values, different goals, different priorities, different likes and dislikes, and I am smarter than that younger person.
I am in no way like my younger incarnation.