Just me philosophizing about life and what makes a person who they are.

Not really sure what category to put this under, so if someone knows.. let me know!

The Formation of Identity

Person 1: Individuality. What is it?

Person 2: Why, it is a culmination of all our memories and experiences over the period of our existence.

Person 1: So when we say how we live makes us who we are, we can also say our memories and experiences define us too?

Person 2: Yes. They do play a vital part in defining oneself.

Person 1: How does one get experiences? Can I buy them? Borrow them for a while from someone?

Person 2: No, experiences are to be accumulated by going out and doing things. You have to build up your OWN experiences; they cannot be bought or borrowed. Experiences are what you learn from your decisions. If you make a decision and a good thing happens, that is an experience. Likewise, if you make a different decision and make a mistake, you discover a consequence and learn not to make that decision again.

Person 1: So, in order to be an individual, we need to have our own experiences and lean things form our mistakes?

Person 2: That would be a good approximation.

Person 1: I don't know if I can do that.

Person 2: Why not? It is everyone's rights to learn from their mistakes, collect their own experiences, and therefore find their identity. Otherwise we would just be copies of each other, we would all have the same experiences and live essentially the same life, that would not be fun now would it?

Person 1: It's not...

Person 2: What was that?

Person 1: I said it is not fun living someone else's life.

Person 2: Why do you say that you are living someone else's life?

Person 1: Well if my experiences are forced to be someone else's or I am not allowed to find my own experiences, I do not have an identity. I am being forced to be a copy of the one controlling my decisions.

Person 2: So, you are not yourself?

Person 1: I have not had much of an opportunity to find myself. Many of my experiences are not my own, not of my own design. If identity is directly tied along with memories and experiences, I am not totally me because my memories are not my own. Experiences have been thrown into me against my will.

Person 2: That must be difficult not knowing oneself. Have you tried to find out who you are?

Person 1: I have tried, and been reprimanded. I try to make a choice and never get to see the outcome because it is overruled. I cannot create my own experiences. My birthright has been taken from me.

Person 2: Alas! To not have one's own life is to lose one's self, a grave misfortune indeed.

Person 1: What is wrong with me? Why do I feel this way?

Person 2: Well, I believe what you are feeling is a desire for individuality. You are tired being the shadow of someone else, a mirror image, you want to be an individual.

Person 1: Maybe...

Person 2: But please, do not take my words and apply them in a false manner. Let me make sure you understand something. When one is younger, experienced should be taught to them, for they do not know what they are, nor do they lack the sense to make good decisions. For the young mind is easily molded and should be properly guided in the right direction. However, I do agree that after a certain point, more freedoms should be released to the person in question.

Person 1: I think you are right, I do want more freedoms.

Person 2: And you should get some, you need to be allowed to experience things on your own now. It is a natural thing to want to experience things on your own. Just take a small child for instance. You can tell them "Don't touch the stove, it is hot and you could get burned." But even though you are trying to share your experience with them and make it theirs, most of the time they want to experience if it is true or not by themselves by touching the stove anyway.

Person 1: So what can I do to get more freedom? Have my own experiences? Have my own identity?

Person 2: That is up to you, after all, it is your life. Take control of it. Well, I must be going. Take care, and good luck finding yourself and developing your own unique individual.

Person 1: Thanks for your input.

Person 2: Any time, any time.

Short story by Michael G
Read 765 times
Written on 2007-03-06 at 19:21

Tags Identity  Life 

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