Saturday, April 12, 2008

Identity crisis

It is all over the place. Like any crisis there'sn't anything quite likeable about it. In fact, many problems around us -- those that are grave enough to make it to news headlines and those trivial ones that we don't want to make an issue of -- can be traced to it.

The underlying motive of many of our actions have some link to our perception of our identity. There is conflict when the perception -- of our own and that of others -- clash. The best indicator of this perceptional conflict of identity is seen in the altercation that emanates.

A lawmaker who has been democratically elected to a state legislature arrives late to board a plane. The pilot makes it an issue and orders him out of the aircraft.

''You run the country, I run the plane,'' says the pilot. To which the lawmaker retorts, ''You are just a glorified driver." Here each is trying to stamp his sense authority which he deems to have been conferred on him by his identity.

Often one hears about run-ins VIPs (very important persons) have with security personnel who ask for identity card. Refusal to show the identity tag to someone who asks for it is a very common phenomenon.

Personal complexes are closely associated with identity perceptions. So too attitudes like arrogance, ego etc.

The whole issue of nationalism is nothing but one of identity. So too the racket one hears about language.

How important then is our identity? For that we need to know what defines our identity. Is it our name, or is it our nationality or is it our designation or is it defined by the power we have over others?

There is no definite answer, because identity is like a reflection: partly it depends on what is reflected (we) and partly it depends on the reflecting surface (others).


  1. Hello Pradeep, I really like your post about identity. I think indentity is as important to an individual or a country as food, shelter, or any other basic needs. Our identity is what makes us aware of our similarities and differences with others, and it also enables us to accept ourselves and others. Without a good sense of identity, we would be lost and cunfused. It's a very vast topic.

    By the way, the "leaders" who lack a good sense of identity are the ones who impose their egos on ordinary people without respect or empathy.

  2. Hi. Glad to know your thoughts on identity :-) Great minds think alike. they also have itnerestign differences :-)

  3. Good post agree with you on all the points.I think our identity also defines all our interactions with people - how we perceive ourselves and how we want to be perceived by others.