On the question of IDENTITY.
I Am Me, You Are Not.
I is another. Arthur Rimbaud.
There comes a point in many people’s lives when they can no longer play the role they have chosen for themselves. When that happens, we are like actors finding that someone has changed the play.
How do you see yourself? And,what is the most important part of your identity? sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class status,nationality,religious affiliation, your age, your political beliefs? Is there one part of your identity that stands out from the rest. Perhaps identity is a social concept of moving change; maybe identity change depending on who you’re with, what you’re involved in, where you are in your life?
Growth is change, to accept growth is to accept a change to oneself. Negative or positive. It is often said that we are of two natures, evil and good. The side we choose to nurture, determines who we are. This means we can determine the course of our lives and what we intend to do to influence the world.
If I decide to turn a thief or something else today irrespective of surrounding factors such as pressure, then it is because I chose to be a thief. Perhaps we cannot truly define what defines us and some of us may be weak to accept what lies within us. For those who go through various situations and are shaped by such, can we say that they finally became who they are by such circumstances? I do not think so. “What ifs” poses a string of limitations to that question. What if that is truly who they are and such circumstances shines a path to exactly who they are? Or what if, that is not who they are but issues beyond springs them into acting another life’s role play,
Sex and gender though used interchangeable is not my point of discussion here but it reflects a lot on who we are what we are to become? Would it matter if a woman plays the role of a man and vice versa? Maybe, maybe not.
Perhaps the question of identity should be based on how experiences plays us on the journey across life. Every point of contact is a determining influence on one’s identity. This is what makes identity a subconscious changing focal point. What I am today is not necessarily what I am tomorrow and what I am tomorrow doesn’t tell what I had been in the past. Perhaps, this is why we age, even our mind age with us. The things you knew as a child becomes clearer as an adult.
Besides the physiological elements, there are other factors, psychological and emotional factors attached to identity, things like emotional intelligence, self-esteem, personality traits, knowledge base, behaviors and more that demands how our identity is formed.
But identity is a question of experience and relations. Who are you beyond who you are?
James Baldwin may be right when he said, an identity would seem to be arrived at by the way in which the person faces and uses his experience.
Stacy pours hot coffee on my new dress, I am upset, the identity that says I am upset because of what Stacy has done even if it was a mistake. This is me, not Stacy, not you. If I choose to get mad at Stacy for long, then I may develop a certain identity in anger and may need anger management classes as my years advance, or maybe not. I forgive Stacy and move on. Another option, I learn from such an experience, imbibe the principles associated with such experience and let it determine who I am?
Perhaps, this is why the question of identity is a moving question in itself. Going back to Brian Moore’s words, what am I, what are you and what is he? We find new things about ourselves each day but our dominant identity, one that says, I am who I am and what I do is this, remains the same when we finally find it. When we find ourselves on certain roles only to switch as we age or grow, then someone else has changed the script for us, some circumstance, some person, some life event, something. Your identity is a question of experience; one that determines who you truly are. Know your identity or let others define it for you. What differentiates us is “I am me, everything that is me is me and what I do is me”
I am me, and you are not.
You are you and I am not.
What does identity mean to you? A deeper reflection of who your are or a superficial knowledge of what tags you are associated with in the society?
Watch this nice video i found on you tube, listen more.