I must start out by saying that identities need not be a concept that is personal. I agree that having decided to touch upon the topic, one must first consider their own identities in order to bring themselves a step closer to the elusive self- actualization on the top of “Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs”. But I realized that we are in different ways, responsible for the shaping of many other identities that we happen to brush past in our life.
Do you ever remember meeting a particular person whom you took an instant dislike to? Do you ever remember telling someone else, “Oh my god, that girl!” followed by some deprecatory comment? Well, you just contributed to part of their identity in another person’s eyes. And how many time must we have done that?
For those who watch MasterChef US, you will know of a certain contestant by the name Krissi who is almost wholly represented by aggressiveness. She swears and casually throws out any and every comment she has on every other contestant- good or bad. most of my friends in school, not used to such attitudes, claim to despise her and “uncouth language”. They chose to identify her with something negative. But I disagree. I noticed that although quite forward in expressing her thoughts, she did nothing more than put out her opinion. She was simply clear about whom she liked and whom she did not and why! If you are incapable of such a thought process, why close your mind to it? Why not accept that attitudes other than your own exist?
We can choose the way in which we perceive other people. We can choose to encompass that which is different from ourselves or social norms. We can, if we choose, find beauty in the dark skin of the South Indian fisher woman as much as in a Hollywood star’s; we can choose to move past a fat girl’s profile to discover a beautiful soul underneath; we can choose to look over aggressiveness to perceive the confidence behind it.
It is simply a matter of whether we choose or not to receive a person’s identity in the best way possible.
Do keep in mind that you make a lot of choices without knowing, for a lot of others as well…
I hope this gives everybody something to think about.