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"All that exists obeys. Man alone occupies a unique status.
As a natural being he obeys, as a human being he must
frequently choose; confined in his existence, he is unre-
strained in his will. His acts do not emanate from him like
rays of energy from matter. Placed in the parting of the ways,
he must time and again decide which direction to take. The
course of his life is, accordingly, unpredictable; no one can
write his autobiography in advance."

excerpt from, I Asked for Wonder
by Abraham Joshua Heschel
It isn't that we 'define ourselves in a special way', it is that we define ourselves.