Imagine yourself in a cafe somewhere, waiting to meet your long-time Internet pal. You met her on a World of Warcraft quest and you enjoyed her company immensely that you decide to bring your relationship to a different level – the three-dimensional kind, non-virtual kind. You wait for her and imagine how you’d introduce yourself to her. Right now, you are more than just a game character. You are you.
Then it hits you, I am me, you think to yourself. I am a student, a dozen or so virtual game characters, a son, a lousy basketball player, a physics marvel. I am a lot of me’s simultaneously. How do I get all that across on the first date? Who am I really, generally?
You panic. you remember that you are also an extremely shy guy, and decide that meeting her wasn’t really a good idea after all. You start to head for the door.
Very few are the instances wherein one can write about the self and not be tagged as vain or narcissistic. But we are here, you and I, with a tacit agreement not to talk about the parts of the self that needn’t be discussed at length, like what ice cream flavor goes hand-in-hand with one’s favorite episode of Bob’s Burgers on a cold night. We are here to discuss the deeper sensibilities of the self, the parts that are (hopefully) not meant to induce an aneurism to the most convenient human being around, which is (surprise, surprise) you. And so I write about the superstar of the self, the identity. She is that sensual lady with the red stilettos and the amazing curves that clings to the arms of the balding, middle-aged man of the self, who dictates how the world views the person she’s in, and how that person views the world, respectively.
Before that sensual lady becomes what she is in all her splendor, she was the adorable little girl. The identity, like all things within the self, has to be nurtured and be taken care of. Since it is an integral part of who we are as a whole, it is important that it grows and matures with us. There are influences that play a major role in the development of one’s identity, starting from one’s childhood. We’ll delve into these influences in another post.
The identity, like art, is also a tool for change. It may be used for positive and negative means. We see it all the time, this here truth, when a politician, corrupt and involved in drug trafficking, pays the local media to build him up to the masses as an all-saving superhero, who will deliver the country from poverty. His or her identity is being morphed into something bigger, something greater in scope, the development of a persona that will inevitably result in deception. But every now and again, a single individual decides to become an inspiration to those around him and molds his identity into someone worthy of being followed – of being thought of in good light; someone who is worth listening to and the end result will lead to positivity and progress. That person has served his identity well, and vice versa.
A person’s identity may be the result of traditional, cultural, situational and spiritual factors. It may arise and harden from conflict, from hardships, from trials. Whatever a person’s identity is, it will always be dependent on one key factor, which is choice. We humans are given the great gift of free will, or free choice, and our identities are tied to the choices we make.
Choice. It’s free and it’s beautiful. Prettier than the prettiest woman you know, it is.
So now that you have an idea about who you are, you may want to reflect upon it before you scurry out that door. You’ll see that you’re not that bad, and is worthy of becoming anyone’s friend. Extremely shy? This may help. It’s about how faith can move mountains of shyness. If you have faith that you can be a very good friend even outside of a quest, then read away and take your seat. Your friend should be there any moment now.