The concept or the idea of identity is rather ambiguous, but it plays an integral role in the world of today. Identity can be defined as who an individual is or what differentiates a person from another. Most people regard identity as the name, age, height, personality or the ethnicity of a person. I believe that a person identity starts immediately a person is born and as a person grows his or her identity might change or not. The change in identity varies in depending on a person’s physical, environmental and psychological conditions. In this essay, the sources of identity will be highlighted.
According to Schwen & Bass (2006, P.191-195), Dorothy Sayers explains that one source of identity is work. To her work is a powerful source of identities in that people live to work and those who have work merely to live have by choice changed the meaning and the importance of work in our lives since is it an authentic expression of our true identities. Being both a substitute teacher (special education) and a tutor, I totally agree with her sentiments in that my peers and friend always identify me with these two occupations. As a Christian, I believe that work as a source of identity should be used not only to match or satisfy our preferences and skills but also to the service of others and the glory of God.
We can do it today.
Seth Barnes (2008) asserts that the experiences that one has with his or her parents and the discussions they have with them on matters of the world are a source of one identity. According to him, this is the strongest source information about a person identity in that the way we live our lives and view the dangers of the world around us originates from the experiences we have undergone with our parents and family. I believe in this assertion in that I have had experiences that have brought meaning to my life. For instance, my mother has had two strokes, through God’s Grace I was there in both times and had to call the ambulance to help her. It is worth to mention that women in her family are said to not live past the age of fifty years, and now in her sixties having survived several strokes after the first two, her experience has brought meaning to my life. From her experiences, people should learn that life should not be taken for granted. Life should always be appreciated, and I believe people must always pray and thank God on a daily basis for giving them the breath of life.
Seth Barnes (2008) maintains that the conclusion that we draw or arrive at about ourselves based upon our interactions with the world is another important source of identity. This relies on the premise that the reasoning or inferences that we establish when we react to situations help to create and cultivate our different identities (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2015). For instance, some people are regarded as brave or polite due to their reactions and interactions with people and the world. I think that this is true some conclusions that people make are always in odds of the reality. Therefore, the way we interact with the world should be in a positive way that will shape our think and react to the dangers of the world that will help us serve, help and glory the Almighty God.
The third source of identity is the emotional being of an individual or how an individual’s daily sense of well-being and angst established on what people tell them about themselves and what they can accomplish (Mark Johnston, 2017). People should not believe in lies that are told about them and as consequence one does not need to live in a negative environment. For instance, I know of people who were usually telling lies about other such as that they are ugly and yet we are all created and made fearfully and wonderfully by God. I feel that as children of God we must let our emotional being be governed by God’s love so that we can always endeavor to do well. In God’s love is where people can find their true identity.
Conclusively, sources of identity can be work as explained by Dorothy Sayers. Seth believes that a past person experience and how we relate and interact with the world are sources of identity. I think that our true identity is found through our God and that we should always strive to do good at all times and in the Glory of our Almighty Father.
- Mark Johnston. (2017).Theology and Identity. Retrieved From http://www.placefortruth.org/blog/theology-and-identity on April 10th, 2017.
- Schwen, M. R., & Bass, D. C. (2006). Leading lives that matter: What we should do and who we should be. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.
- Seth Barnes. (2008).Three Sources of identity.Retrieved from http://www.sethbarnes.com/post/three-sources-of-identity on April 10, 2017.
- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2015).Personal Identity. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-personal/ on April 10, 2017.