2018 / November 2018

Can I be somebody? Not what they want me to be


Photo by Joyce McCown on Unsplash

Take yourself back to 1999. What were you doing, thinking and listening to? Perhaps you were partying along to Prince (see what I’ve done there)? For me, one of my favourite songs was this one, Metamorphis, by Delirious.

You might notice the similarity between the song title and the name of our social enterprise, Metanoeo. Both words are rooted in the Greek word metanoia. It’s a word which emphasises a complete commitment to change on our part. It’s the word we use to describe the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly, something that takes total life commitment on the part of the caterpillar.

Relating this to our wellbeing, it’s a great reminder that to become something beautiful often requires a real commitment to change on our part. Returning to the Delirious song, Martin Smith sings:

Can I be somebody? Not what they want me to be

Just a pale reflection of what you want me to be

I love these lyrics. What a fantastic reminder that as humans we are born to be something of wholeness and beauty, but often we are a pale reflection of what we can be.

Can I be somebody? The answer is a resounding yes! Yet so often we end up being what the world around us wants to be. We are so easily manipulated and moulded by the pressures of life and advertised driven culture in which we live.

Yet how often does pursuit of the aspirations we are sold by our culture satisfy, and even when they do, for how long? Returning to the song it’s easy to identify with the lyrics; Worldly wise, synthesised. Yet for most of us we would still say; I’m on the outside looking in. And it’s perhaps even easier to recognise the experience; My Teflon coat is wearing thin, as, at times, we tire of our experiences of life.

But this is not a song bemoaning the miss-sold pressures and aspirations of our culture. It’s a song which proudly declares; I know one day, I will be free. My cynical clothing will fall from me. So, what we are to do? Whenever I listen to this song it acts as a great reminder that I’ve been born to be somebody, and not just what others want me to be. Something unique and beautiful and wholly ‘Dave’. Yet, like the caterpillar, this takes whole life commitment. Still, as the advert says; I’m worth it.


Exploring and co-creating #wellbeing4all and community theology with individuals, businesses and communities. For the many, not the few.