How do we identify ourselves?

Once a tarantula approached a crow with a request. The tarantula said, “Mr. Crow I have a request to make.”. The crow looked towards his requester with little apprehension and shock. He said, “Okay, Mr. Tarantula please go ahead. Let me see what I can do for you”.  

The tarantula put forward his request, “Mr. Crow, can you see the lake over there? I have been wanting to look on the other side of the lake. But if I try to travel through the breadth of the lake, it will take me months to reach there. So, I had a request, if you can take me there by carrying me. You can fly and reach on other side in minutes.” Now the crow was bit startled with the request. Tarantula is known for his venom and nature to sting. Carrying him means putting himself in danger knowingly. So he was confused to come up with an appropriate reply. With little struggle he put forward, “Mr. Tarantula, you do know that tarantulas are known for stinging. So how do you expect me to put myself in such a danger.”. “I promise to not harm you Mr. Crow. Please believe me and give me one chance”.

With some persuasion and discussion, the crow agreed to carry tarantula on his back and take him to other side of lake. As they were both in mid of the lake, the tarantula looked bit uneasy. And before the crow could sense it, the tarantula stung the crow. Within a flash of moment, the venom spread across the crow’s body and he said to tarantula, “What have you done, now we both are bound to fall in the lake and die”. The tarantula looked sorry and confused for his doings. He said, “I am sorry Mr. Crow, but it is my identity to sting and I could not hold back same for long”.

The story tells how poignant the sense of identity is for us. But do we actually know our true identity or derive it from what is being fed to us.

• Humans are social beings and groups are inherent part to our being. By the sociological parameters we are assigned identities of various forms like gender, religion, community, regional identity etc. Along with each group belonging we are fed some set of parameters and expectations to fit in that group. This builds the notions of right and wrong, what we should do and how we should behave in a fixed and adamant way in our minds. These notions somewhere take toll on our logical analysis of situation and decision making. We remain biased to some level due to these hard fix identity parameters.

• At times the past events trap us in an identification and labelling, like “I can never paint as throughout school I was bad in drawing”. However, there is no fixed things in life, everything changes and has capability to change with time. We should evaluate the chances, scenarios with unbiased perspective to come up with better decisions.

• At times due to identity fixed mindset we take decisions which may not allow us to grow to fuller extent and capabilities. We end up missing on opportunities due to the inhibitions created by this identity fixed mindset.

• Knowing ourselves and remaining connected with our inner self can help us to come out of this trap. It helps us to evaluate the actual and tangible reasons for any situations rather than what is fixed in our mind.

As mentioned by sociologist Charles Horton Cooley “Am I who I think I am, or am I who others think I am?”. Reading the above statement repeatedly will help you to understand this better. Its tried and tested.


Learner for life, from life

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