Thoughts on Identity
There is a lot of talk about identity and ‘identity politics’. But I wonder — why do we care so much for identity? And is identity overrated?
What does identity mean?
Identity comes from the Latin ‘idem‘ (the same). Thus identity is this:
Being similar to others, or being the same as another sub-set or sub-group.
It seems some people strive for a sense of belonging with a group or community. But is the goal to become more similar to others, or more dissimilar to others?
I am not alike
My thought and belief:
Why do you want to be the same as others?
I think some individuals want to be the same (or similar) to others because of fear.
To be different is scary. Why? In the past, to be different from the group or collective was bad. Why? You would get expelled from the group, and perhaps starve and die alone.
But in today’s world, the risk of us dying as an individual is practically zero. We have a very unique opportunity in history that we can actually become individuals without fear of death.
So shouldn’t we milk this opportunity and strive to become as maximally different as others?
How high is your pride?
My thought is this:
Extremely prideful individuals (like myself) DISDAIN the notion of being alike to others.
An extremely prideful person does NOT want to be identical to others. Their identity is to be different — a solo eagle, soaring on lofty wings.
I know for myself, I strive to be different. I strive to be different in my thoughts, gait, demeanor, how I speak, how I lift weights, how I eat, how I drink, how I make art, how I write, how I think, and how I approach life.
Why NOT be the same as others
To be same is boring. To be same is to simply be a “sheeple” (another sheep person, another member of the herd).
I’ve realized I’m an elitist (founded on meritocracy). Perhaps my drive for ascendency is a good thing — it motivates me, encourages me, and uplifts me and pumps me up!
To be the same as others is depressing
If you’re another clone of everyone else, and you look at others (who look the same as you), isn’t it annoying or frustrating?
Consider — to live a safe, standard, and basic life in modern society is so easy. Just show up, pay attention, don’t rebel, follow orders, put in the hours. But once again — would you rather be an obedient sheep, or a ravenous wolf? Or better yet, a free-spirited eagle?
You are the solo artist.
Perhaps this is the best way to approach things:
Don’t be a collaborator, be a solo individual and a solo artist.
Don’t be another clone in a boy band. Better to become a Renaissance Person — a culture and force unto yourself.
Thrive in your different ness. As time goes on, strive to become more foreign, more unknown, more enigmatic.
The more different you become, the better!