What's Your Identity?
Listening to a TED Radio Hour about identity, I was enthralled with the complicated and interesting topic. Identity isn’t an easy subject to tackle, and there are many answers for what really constitutes as an identity.
Naturally, I started thinking about how I identify myself.
- Liberally moderate
- Social justice seeker (I can blame the Jesuits for this one.)
- Recovering worrier
- Active smiler
- Compulsive list maker
The list can go on and on because I truly am an avid list maker and because almost anything and everything can be considered an identity.
For example, I also identify with other military brats who don’t really have a hometown and dread the question, “Where are you from originally?” I also identify with gun owners who like to amass a collection of guns for both recreational use and personal defense.
And as the list goes on, it only gets more complicated and more contradictory. Although I identify with military brats, I also consider myself an Idahoan because during my time there, I discovered the state is one of our nation’s best-kept secrets featuring almost completely unspoiled natural beauty, and I want to be associated with that. And although I’m a gun owner who enjoys shooting my family’s ever-growing collection of guns, I also am an active proponent of stricter gun laws, such as universal background checks and waiting periods for all guns in all states.
Contradictory, is that how I should identify myself? Maybe. But really, I think that’s how many of us can define of ourselves, because we are human. We are complicated, we are diverse, and we can’t be categorized by a single identity.
What’s my point? Really there isn’t one, other than to stimulate some critical thinking, something else I can blame on the Jesuits.
Identity is a messy topic but something worth thinking about. Identities guide our actions and if we don’t actively participate in the recognition of our identities, others will soon tell us how to define ourselves and, thus, how to act, an all too dangerous possibility for this feminist Mormon mother to accept.