TRUTH, An Overlooked Aspect of IDENTITY Discussions Today
Have you ever met a person who assumed an identity that was not rightfully or legitimately theirs, and witnessed how this did not lead to happiness, but actually disorder and pain? Consider the young person who assumes they have the wisdom and experience of an adult, who arrogantly refuses to the listen to the sound words of his/her instructor, and then goes on to make mistake after mistake which could have been avoided. Or, consider the old person who grotesquely surgically manipulates their appearance to look younger and fit in with a young crowd, vainly trying to escape the reality of time and forsaking the wisdom and experience which may have come with age. Or, consider the ignorant person who leads others into ignorance by assuming he can speak and teach on a topic he is ill-equipped and misinformed about. Or, consider the devastation caused by a parent who assumes the identity of a single person and neglects his/her child, all so they can relive the glories and “freedoms” of singlehood. In all these cases, we see an arrogant and foolish attempt to be something a person is not, and all out of vain and selfish pursuits for other ends. But if these individuals had embraced the identity which was actually true to their position, it would have led to a greater flourishing and happiness for them and others.
These examples are in line with a notion that seems to be mostly absent from many discussions regarding identity in our culture: the question of TRUTH. What is the truth about our identity as humans and the positions we are in? And, how can I more fully live in line with the TRUTH?
In the examples above, and in all of reality, living in line with what is TRUE leads to greater flourishing, joy, and happiness for the individual and those around them. Perhaps we need to be more persistent and consistent in considering the category of TRUTH with regardless to our discussions of identity.