CHAT: Personal Identity (was Re: meeting of minds)
|From:||Tom Wier <artabanos@...>|
|Date:||Monday, December 21, 1998, 4:09|
Kristian Jensen wrote:
> diana slattery wrote:
> >what's really interesting to me is how come several (or many?) feel
> >this way, have voiced this (though not really believing it, more a
> >comment about how one is being seen by others who do not indulge).
> >what is it that is worrisome about this activity? seriously? and
> >where and how do these worlds get formed? and how does one get in
> >touch with them? and why would "others" who are imagined to think
> >those who indulge are "mental" fear such explorations?
> >Guess this is a hot topic for me!
> Well, perhaps - and I could be wrong - the main reason I indulge in
> this activity is because I have what several call: "Identity
> Crisis". That is, I do not have any sense of national patriotism at
> all. NONE WHATSOEVER!!
> But I'd really like to belong somewhere. I
> envy people who can say with certainty, "I'm Danish" or "I'm
> Filipino" or "I'm American" - I simply can't say this.
I realize this is somewhat off topic, but I feel I should comment on it.
I think when you talk about "American" culture you seem to think that
it is one homogenous culture -- this is by no means true. There are
*vast* cultural difference here, and not just ones which are recent
immigrants like the various Asian communities, or previously the
Southern Europeans, but the very foundations of the country have always
assumed a sort of cultural pluralism -- as the still present sectional
differences attest. Southerners have a different take on life than
Northerners, or Westerners, and within each, individuals all have their
own family histories which are as disparate as the nations of the earth.
Most Americans I know still maintain some sort of identity with the
"Old" world from which their families historically came: while I may
maintain my roots with the Scottish clans prior to the Revolution
(and to my ancestors here who variously fought in the Revolution,
the Civil War, or the Texan Revolution), my neighbor takes pride in
his German heritage, and next to him, their Hispanic traditions. America
is a vast mix of multiculturalism, and has always been, and is a diversit=
which is to be cherished, not maligned. Though these differences have
certainly not always resulted in total utopia -- nowhere has that occurre=
we have always been the better for it, and not just in superficial ways l=
having more Italian or Chinese restaurants. :)
So, what is my answer suggestion to you about your identity crisis?
You can be all these things, much as Americans do (though this does not
imply becoming American) -- you need not choose between your heritages;
why not embrace them both?
Tom Wier <twier@...>
ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."
"S=F4=F0 is gecy=FEed / =FE=E6t mihtig God manna
cynes / w=EAold w=EEde-ferh=F0."
_Beowulf_, ll. 700-702