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Friday, August 13, 2004

identify YOURSELF!

you, me, us, they, I - all words made to differentiate. i had this discussion the other day with someone and i'm always surprised at the different reactions it evokes...
by calling myself an Armenian for example, i am not simply pointing to my geographic origin but putting out a sign saying this is what i believe and think is right and so i am different (and most times that means better) than the other guy. now the comparison factor is at many times useful - its the impetus for the individual to strive towards bettering himself and those that depend on him.
note the word "strive". it implies some sort of effort or work. the problem arises when the inert and unproductive components of society (individuals, groups or countries) use comparison as a shield for resisting change. the say i am Cymruain, for example, with all the implied traits of that nationality. this causes an unconscious mental motion to defend the "home turf". put out the markers. dont smile at the neighbors lest they think they are one of us. well what it gets to in simple terms is the creation of unrest and discrimination. by allowing these rifts to form for sometimes trivial reasons, people overlook the fact that at some point the advantages and disadvantages are shared. its just been hard to see that throughout man's history.
to follow on a recent theme - globalization and connectivization can and will bring more of an awareness to the average individual of the consequences of every thought, frown, laugh and slap that they engage in. its one benefit - we won't be able to hide behind our identities. think about it - one day almost every action we could possibly do could be predictable. i for one hope that is far off but the implications are staggering - we will be computed...
i'd like to end this with a book and writer that i greatly admire. he's formed many of my opinions and i recommend him highly. amin maalouf and the only non-fiction book that i've read by him "on identity". its a short yet impressive gem.


  • Read the book Identity by Amin Maalouf. Talks about how people try to label you and your loyalties to name pegs that can be categorized in a drawer. Didnt finish reading the book but I found it interesting that you where dancing around the same subject. :)

    By Blogger Backspace Lace, at Wednesday, August 18, 2004 12:06:00 AM  

  • the books does deliver quite a punch that's hard to argue with. amin is highly acclaimed in the francophone world but i feel he hasn't been nearly as recognized outside it - not even in his native arab region. let me know what you think when you finish it...

    By Blogger frigg, at Friday, August 20, 2004 2:26:00 PM  

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