Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

My identity (3)

My identity has never been much of an issue to me. I was – and am – just Me Myself I (see below). There are several questions in life, like How, What, When, Where, Who and Why. Usually, only Why is relevant to me. Identity is about the question: Who am I? We use attributes to find answers, like age, health, sexuality, skin colour, wealth.

Does middle-aged black/white (fe)male answer the question: Who am I? Obviously, it does not. It’s just a label – or social stigma – for the purposes of identity politics (eg, angry white male, angry black woman, young urban professional, white trash).

I once described myself to Joan as a reverse bounty (bar): white outside and black inside. She was the opposite: chocolate outside and coconut white inside. Once, I called her ‘black’. Immediately, she corrected me: “I’m mocha, not black”. We got along very well despite our frequent collisions. I still believe my reverse bounty bar description was more valid than most other attributes.

For most life forms, humans are a dangerous species. They would ridicule our identity debates. The moment that aliens would arrive at planet Earth, our “us versus them” discussions would change into “humans versus aliens”, similar to the 2017 urban fantasy crime film Bright on Netflix.

The Body, Mind & Soul (my blogs) perspective has a huge bearing on the question: Who am I? In blunt words: our ageing bodies are biodegradable, our minds could possibly once be uploaded to long-lasting machines, while our (divine) Soul is (probably) eternal.

The more you think of it, the more this question appears irrelevant: Who am I? Thinking about our identities is often cause for emotional, intellectual, and physical separation (eg, ageism, classism, racism, sexism). Hence, “us versus them“.

The opposite is also true: focussing on (national) identity will unite negative sentiments into strong (nationalistic) movements (eg, kick out black Pete, nationalismTrumpismErdoganism). Hence, in my view, identity politics is about leveraging on negative human sentiments. Moreover, the more you focus on Who, the less you focus on Why (eg, Why am I here).

In my view, the only relevant answer to the “Who am I question” is either “a good person” or “a bad hombre“. Seldom do you hear that answer to the question Who am I? Nevertheless, that answer and focus may explain successful TV shows like the Good Doctor, the Good Fight, the Good Place, and the Good Wife. Deep down, we believe in doing good.

The above is also reflected in the ancient Persian beliefs of Zoroastrianism (my blogs). LA Times-1998: “Zarathustra taught the importance of good thoughts, good words and good deeds”.

Me Myself I (1980) by Joan Armatrading
artist, lyrics, vido, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

I wanna be a bigshot
And have ninety cars
I wanna have a boyfriend
And a girl for laughs
But only on Saturdays
Six days to be alone
Just me myself I
Me myself and I
Just me myself I

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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