All of us.
Seeking to find identity in aspects of our lives. Always mimicking, and imitating. Why?
Why do we let certain things define us?
In America, we've lost our identity. Our true identity.
We are first, and foremost, people. How simple, yet incredibly difficult this is to grasp, blows my mind.
See, I've noticed this a lot recently. We, humans, cling to things that we think give us worth. This isn't some new, revolutionary observation. It's been observed time and time again, by people much wiser than myself. But, when you actually let it sink in, it's a pretty heavy thought.
We wear our hip, name-brand clothing, we snatch that new i-Pad off the shelves, we craft an image to present to our friends (cool, dork, artsy, intelligent, etc.)... and we begin to let these things hijack us. We let our lives become about who we're attracted to, or how we vote. We let these things begin to define us, our lives, and the people we were meant to be.
And here's the danger in that; when you are defined by a single aspect of the whole that is your humanity, you aren't able to take criticism. You can't see the other side of the story. You're blinded, in essence, to things beyond that particular facet of life.
How often do we see this?
A child, who finds her identity in the wrong group of peers, can no longer see the well intentioned authority of her parents.
When he finds all his self-worth and affirmation in his significant other, the relationship becomes all he is. Anytime anyone questions even the tiniest flaw, or incompatibility in the relationship, he's immediately on the defensive. Because a questioning the merits of his significant other, is to question his own personal merit. His identity.
People get wrapped up as a follower of a particular celebrity. They're sucked into that person's life; their every move, each new story...until that celebrity has left the limelight. When this happens, people need to adjust their paradigms drastically to accommodate for the loss of identity they feel, when their idol becomes obsolete.
People find their identities in the religious practices they observe. "Religious devotion"? Absolutely. Perhaps you've seen what happens when ideologies are challenged, and when some of the nicest, most devout individuals transform, and become ugly? It isn't pretty.
Because, when your identity is challenged, you'll fight tooth and nail to hold onto what is known, rather than embrace the unknown.
It's the way we're wired. We want to have a mark. We desperately want to be recognized, to stand out.
But, in that desire, we so easily forget that we are marked. We are the handiwork of the most powerful being in the cosmos. We belong to Him. We're created in His image, even if that image is tainted.
It is in that that we can find lasting worth. It is in that, that our beauty as a person shines through in full.
Gay or straight? That isn't your identity.
Republican or Democrat? Doesn't even come close to the person you are.
Man or woman? Now we're getting closer.
You are a human being. A beautiful miracle. A marvelous mystery.
If we could shed the external layers of false identities, and view each person as a marvelous mystery, there's no telling what this world could be.