Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Assuming a new identity

The title of a recent Dutch interview with international classical baritone singer Ernst Daniël Smid caught my immediate attention: If I can no longer sing, then who am I ? A familiar question for me.

Nowadays, I state that I’m a thinker and a writer. Before, I was working in Finance (eg, CFO, CPA). In between, I felt lost due to a severe burnout and depression (my blogs). Going outside wasn’t easy because it felt as if the letter L (for Loser; not Leon) was marked on my forehead. Assuming my new identity hasn’t been easy. It took quite some time before I accepted my new role in life.

As noted before, acceptance is the final stage in processing grief. These stages were defined by Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004), a Swiss-American psychiatrist. The Kübler-Ross model identifies: (1) Denial, (2) Anger, (3) Bargaining, (4) Depression and (5) Acceptance (a.k.a. DABDA). These 5 stages apply to all major changes in our lives; not only grief.

For many of us, our identity defines who we are. Still, our job (title) is about what we are; not who. At some point in time, the when will define who we are (eg, pensioner, retired). Seldom, the why defines who we are. In my view, the why should be about: I’m here to help others. Also see my blogs on cooperation vs competition.

As a white straight man in a white male world (also see video below) I do not have additional identity issues (eg, gender, sexuality, skin colour). The only time that I became – consciously – aware of my (white) identity was while walking in Atlanta (USA). It was an eye-opener.

Some day, I may have to assume a new identity, when my inspiration for writing would run dry. I’m not looking forward to that day. It may create a new black hole in which I might disappear.

A thought just entered my mind: our identity might be reciprocal to our power. When you fulfil powerful roles then your identity seems hardly relevant. When we lose our power, we suddenly wonder – and worry – about our identity. Also see my blogs about Identity vs Power. Moreover, this may be another example of dualism.

Perhaps, the solution is as simple as this: when we love (ie, believe in) ourselves then our identity and power are hardly relevant. There’s an intriguing overlap in this sentence with my concept of Needs, Wants & Beliefs. I will come back on that perceived overlap.

Essentially, this is another example of the Love, Knowledge & Power triangle (a.k.a. trialism) that governs our lives.

Black Man In A White World (2016) by Michael Kiwanuka
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.


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