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Showing posts from August, 2015

Identity Crisis

Questions of identity dominate the headlines. The "hero" Bruce Jenner has redefined his identity as the heroine Caitlyn, while Rachel Dolezal identifies herself not as the race she was born as, but as a culturally black woman. Our parents told us, “You can be anything you want to be.” I don’t think they expected us to take them so literally.
The real question is, who has the right to determine our identity? Is it our society? Are we determined by whatever role we play in the larger community? This has been tried and retried, and always found wanting. Is it our families? In many cultures, children live to live up to their parents’ dreams and expectations. There is something truly noble, and yet simultaneously very base about this. Is it the self? Doubtless this has filled the vacuum for our culture.
William Ernest Henley’s poem has sadly become our battle cry, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” I fear the moral bankruptcy of individualism will eventual…