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Who am I as I Try to Be Me?

Rodric completed his bachelor of psychology through the University of Phoenix. His perspective provides guidance and education.

Who am I?

Purpose in life brings with it answers to the question above. All humans need a purpose in life. There are those who argue that they may not have a purpose or there is no meaning to life other than breeding and eating. Even with those foundational beliefs comes purpose, understanding, and acceptance of a status to allow the believers to live without haunting confusion and doubt most of the time.

Believing that humans are the result of evolutionary superfluity gives purpose to the acolyte of that faith. Believing that humanity is the result of divine origin provides parameters for daily interaction and living for those disciples.

Any set of beliefs, no matter if they destroy or build provide answers to the question of "Who am I?" that leads to a purpose, consequently providing what we have in society as differing religions. political ideas, racism, love, peace--everything. Once the world understands that the answer to the question already exists in the forms and philosophy of the world, a greater measure of personal peace in the minds of humanity can prevail.

That understanding may never come. Even in that sentiment, there is an answer. It is a glorious thing to consider.

Whether our family is the one to which we are born or adopted, it represents a large part of our identity and is complex in nature depending on upbringing and culture.

Every person is the sum of his or her parts, which includes the mind; therefore feelings. Though it is true, it does not adequately answer the question of "Who am I?"

Instead of using the scientific notions of what the brightest minds of biology have discovered and written about the subject, which will only satisfy a small population of readers and which is above the qualifications of the writer, I will use anecdotal--hopefully, relatable to most--experiences of my life to express my view of this message.

Identity includes the many relationships people cultivate, such as their identity as a child, friend, partner, and parent. It involves external characteristics over which a person has little or no control, such as height, race, or socioeconomic class.

— Psychology Today

I Am a Member of My Family

The need to identify with something that we can love and give devotion to is important for all people. Whether our family is the one to which we are born or adopted, it represents a large part of our identity and is complex in nature depending on upbringing and culture.

For me, being a member of my family defines my place in my community and my relation to the world in many settings. Though I do not think in terms of a clan, my understanding of family according to my perception of my culture revolves around my association to my grandfather's family, though he deceased in 1945. The family name is Bazin. I grew up with the idea that family includes cousins, aunts, and uncles like many other cultures.

As an example, when I decided to serve as a missionary for my church, the Bishop of my congregation told me to ask my family for help to pay for that service before he would inquire of my congregation to offer any support. The task seemed daunting because I assumed that he intended for me to go before my family, which included over 40 different family groups that I was aware of asking each for money to serve as a missionary.

My Bishop did not understand that to me, a Black American from Southern Georgia, family meant more than the group of people with whom I lived. It took me years to understand that to this man, family meant my immediate family. I did ask my entire family to assist me on my mission, which they did, though most of them were of different faiths that I.

That cultural understanding of family has also passed from me to my children who identify with the overarching family of my wife because I chose to move away from my family to pursue my wife. The interesting thing about this new dynamic is that my kids grew up in a two-parent home, which I did not, and have a different concept of family than that of my wife and me. They also grew up with a different idea of family loyalty based more on the idea of individual family group identity similar to the concept which my former bishop accepted, nuclear family.

I am a member of the Bazin family, though my last name is not Bazin. My children do not identify themselves by the super-family group because they have my last name and we call ourselves the Johnsons. My wife and I still associate ourselves with our super-family groups, defining our identity within that context.

Because we both come from single-parent homes, I assume, our identity definition comes from the support of the super-family. Because I am the traditional nuclear family leader am culturally the super-structure that defines the family, my children identify themselves by their association with me as does my wife, so the cultural attachment is different. My children are Johnsons with an extended family, whereas my extended family is an overarching identity tent. In fact, many of the women in my extended family did not have traditional relationships which created a culture of dependence on the extended family. All the men, the Bazin men who remained were the focus of family leadership. Where there were no men, the eldest women in the family were the focus of power and reverence.

extemporaneous

Identity also encompasses political opinions, moral attitudes, and religious beliefs, all of which guide the choices one makes on a daily basis.

— Psychology Today

I Am Chimera

Gangs, though they cause societal ills support those who do not receive the protection and inclusion from strong family ties. Though it is not a desirable societal construct, gangs provide the identity that some people need to define themselves, gives purpose.

Societies and clubs also provide the same contextual support people need to give them purpose. Any group, city, state, nation, or religion can provide contextual identity to their members and become a defining aspect of self.

As a child, I became a member of a gang for a short period to provide safety at school. I joined the choir to provide an identity. I played football to add that aspect to my identity. I follow a faith that I believe unites the entire human family. Many of us are chimeras of identity if not all of us.

There are those who prefer to have no label, only identifying with the super-culture or macro-culture. We call them loners, and such, who would not appreciate such labels as a race, gender, or ethnicity.

Psychology Today suggests,

Identity includes the many relationships people cultivate, such as their identity as a child, friend, partner, and parent. It involves external characteristics over which a person has little or no control, such as height, race, or socioeconomic class. Identity also encompasses political opinions, moral attitudes, and religious beliefs, all of which guide the choices one makes on a daily basis.1

Chimera is my interpretation of that explanation of identity. We are the sum of the parts that make up our lives and experiences. In Greek mythology, chimeras are a gross representation of an amalgamation of different creatures. When it comes to identity, we are a tapestry of different colors weaved together to make a beautiful creation--none like another. Serial killers and philanthropists alike are beautiful creations; though the former may be beautiful monsters.

who-am-i-as-i-try-to-be-me

I am a Child of God

The identity concept that matters most to me is my connection to God. My belief that life is about building relationships because we humans are all spiritually the offspring of divinity drives my motivation to improve as a person and improve society. That translates into my identity need for family and family connections. If I believe that my neighbor is my brother or sister, it makes it more likely that I will treat him or her with respect and honor in most cultural constructs.

Most people believe in a supreme being even though they may call Him by different names. I believe that God is our father and that you, the reader, are my brother or sister. Because this belief is a fundamental element of my personality and identity, that presupposes that I strive to treat everyone with the respect of a sibling as taught by the teachings of Jesus Christ, since I am also a Christian. In other words, to love others as I love myself.

Who we are is a mixture of many things applicable to specific situations when the need to identify. I am a son sometimes, though all the time. I am a dad sometimes, though all the time. I am a writer sometimes, though all the time. Which identifier a assert depends on the environment.

The beautiful thing about identity is that it places freedoms and restrictions on the behavior of the identifiers. Above all other identifiers, race, nation, or political party, religion is the one that matters the most to me. Assertively, I suggest that there are billions of people in the world who identify in a manner similar. I assert when we are looking to find out "Who am I?" it is because there is a lack in our lives that we want to fulfill. It is alright to question identity if we a looking to change for the better version of ourselves.

Supporting Reference

  • Identity | Psychology Today [1]
    Identity encompasses the memories, experiences, relationships, and values that create one’s sense of self. This amalgamation creates a steady sense of who one is over time, even as new facets are developed and incorporated into one's identity.

Related and Inspired By

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Rodric Anthony

Comments

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on November 30, 2020:

I took the test, Mark. I am a Turbulent Mediator. I hit me dead on. I do not think much about this discovery. I have you to thank for that guidance because I tend to harp on things. That's why I stay away from horoscopes. I feel like I have to make that stuff true.

It is a guidepost to help me think about accepting myself as I am and working on areas in which I can improve.

Also, I have to complain that I did not like the way it ended. I won't spoil it for anyone else. Longmire was an escape for me during a hard time. Longmire reminds me of myself with his quirks. My wife littered when we first were married. I think she threw paper out the window. I stopped the car and went back to the trash to pick it up. I am still like that, but I have trouble bending now. I keep trash in my pockets until I can get to a proper receptacle. Recycling is a religion of its own to me sometimes.

I could not help but look for evidence of Latter-day Saints in the show. It is a big thing for me to find references of my faith in television shows. I found references, but I look for Saints everywhere and how they are characterized in media.

Mark Richardson from Utah on November 29, 2020:

Rodric-

There are some free tests online. I like Myers Briggs the most. I use it as a guideline, but not as a box to put myself in.

I'm glad you like Longmire. About season 3 was where it got good. I like that he tries to do what is right. It is MA mostly due to a few racy scenes in a few episodes, so just watch out for that.

-Mark

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on November 22, 2020:

Mark, I am working on my natural man, gorilla. I tend to get offended easily and have been trying to let the offense wash over me. I acknowledge it when it occurs but then choose not to allow the offense to turn into anger or moodiness.

I am a shy person by nature, though I like to be included in things. I wonder what a personality test would help me discover about myself. I am going to check that out.

I am going to keep the Chimp Paradox in mind.

Not related, because of you I am watching Longmire! I went to it as soon as I saw your article. It is a good show. I like Sheriff Longmire's quirks so far. I am on season 4 right now.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on November 22, 2020:

Denise, my kids love that song from Mulan! I love it too. My teen daughter sings that song often. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Mark Richardson from Utah on November 22, 2020:

Rodric-

A great article.

Here are a few things that come to mind:

1. I like who I am & who I have become due to my life and my experiences. I have learned a lot through trials. We all have our own. It is much easier to look back at how we have improved after going through something.

2. Everyone wants to be accepted. I have thought of how we like to be part of what some may call a tribe. One of mine is my religion. Another is where I live. Another that I have found recently is through MBTI (personality test). Some aren't fans of personality tests, but I look at it as a guideline to help me understand myself. I am ENFP. Some youtubers have a channel focused on personality types.

3. An earth-shattering thing I learned about this week was after I listened to an audiobook called the 'Chimp Paradox'. There is a Ted Talk on it too. We all have a chimp in us (metaphorically) that is emotional, instinctual, impulsive and typically fun-loving, to name a few things. I realized that I have a gorilla or a hulk in me because I realized how illogical, impulsive and instinctual I can be. You can compare this on a religious side to the natural man. One thing I am working on right now is overcoming the natural man. It is a challenge, but I am working at it.

Thanks again for sharing, my friend.

-Mark

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on November 21, 2020:

This is very deep philosophically. It is funny how many Disney movies have songs where the key character is trying to discover who they are really. My favorite is Mulan "Who I am Inside".

Blessings,

Denise

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on November 20, 2020:

Pamela, thank you for reading and commenting. Your words are always encouraging, making me want to write more. Thanks for that. I hope this article helps people on their journies to discovery and acceptance of themselves.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on November 20, 2020:

Blll, thanks for reading. I believe we spend our entire lives becoming who we are and you just confirmed it in my mind. I hope we can accept where we are in life with the mind to become better each day until it is over.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 20, 2020:

Lovely article, my friend. If it helps at all, I'm older than you, and I'm still trying to be who I was meant to be. :) Hopefully I'll live long enough to find out. LOL

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 20, 2020:

This is a very good article, Rodric. You did seem to cover all the aspects that might come up if you were saying, "Who am I?" You did an excellent job, and I think this article could help a lot of people.

Rodric Anthony (author) from Surprise, Arizona on November 20, 2020:

Thank you for reading and commenting, manatita44. Your poem is what started me thinking about writing this article. Your words are encouraging and uplifting.

manatita44 from london on November 20, 2020:

Your Hub is exquisite and you have covered the essentials. Some days ago I was sent the request to write a poem with the theme of Identity, which I did. But you have covered a much wider range and made it more practical. Good on you.

The video is beautiful and covers all we need to know ... that the true quest is the search for the Absolute. God speed!!