There are probably a million clichés I could include in this particular post, but I thought I would speak partly from experience concerning the notion of identity. First of all, I am of the mindset that a large part of who we are comes not from our genetics, but rather from our surrounding environment and experiences. Let’s take a simple example: 30 students in a classroom. They are all going to behave pretty much the same while in class, but if they are with their friends outside of class there are 30 unique personalities. Certain situations force us to act certain ways. I think that example can be expanded to include broader scenarios such as the culture of the country you were born into or the income level of your family. These factors can greatly control the kind of person you become, because the knowledge and experience you gain from these situations will shape who you are. The nature vs. nurture argument can never be proven because you can never have the exact same individual live two different lives, but I believe is 85% nurture that determines your identity.
With that being said, you do have some control over your surroundings, and therefore you can shape your identity to some degree. This can be both a blessing and a curse. People use it to conform to certain social situations because they want to be popular or because they want people to like them. Every one is guilty of this to some degree, including me. There are situations where you need to take the context into consideration, such as being quiet in the classroom even if you are a very loud person in general. But I believe that sometimes your identity is more important than being liked. This is something that I have come to value even as I write this blog. Expressing my opinion has upset many readers and offended several people close to me, but I continue to express my ideas and opinions because that is what makes me unique. If I listened to what everyone else said it wouldn’t be my blog anymore.
The bottom line is that our identity is constantly evolving and changing. There are times where you should own your own ideas and beliefs even if others don’t like them, and times where you need to listen to others even if you don’t agree. Take advantage of who you are and make the most of it.
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