Who are you? A man or a woman? Hindu or Muslim? Indian or Italian? Tamilian or Bengali? Brahmin or Shudra? White or coloured? Middle class or rich class? Democrat or republican? Leftist or Rightist? Nationalist or globalist? Capitalist or socialist? Theist or atheist?
Well! I don’t know! But, what I know for sure is, that, you’re an incredible human being reading this article!
Isn’t knowing this much enough to make a bond of hearts?
Not for many! Knowing all above identities is critical for them to decide if you’re worthy enough. Your content of character comes last in the queue. Your humanity is thrown in the dustbin!
Why that’s so? Well! For affiliation! Unfortunately, it feels safe to be in a walled well than an open ocean!
Narrow conception of identity is the root cause behind all the problems the planet faces today.
Homes and hearts are divided! Why? Two brothers think themselves as different. Their identity? “Me” and only “Me”. When it is only me, how can it be “Us” and “Ours”?
Some people identify themselves with a caste. Who are you? We’re Baniya/Aggarwal/Thakur.. And then, to protect that fake illusion of honour, all sorts of conflicts take place. Be it division of Villages on caste lines in election times or honour killings.
Then some people associate their dominant identity as a religious identity. I’m a Hindu! I’m a Christian! When these identities becomes rigid, communalism rises up. See! What’s happening in the name of Islamophobia in societies of France and some Nordic countries which often mark the top ranks in the happiness index.
Regional and linguistic identities create further tensions and leads to bloody civil wars.
Same problems in organisations. Departmentalism or silo mentality is all the result of narrow identity circle. When you associate yourself only to a department or a particular organisation, it limits your identity and breeds jealousy.
Some create a sub-national identity. I’m a North Indian! I’m a South Indian. Despite, in reality, it is an Indian from the north or south.
Even this national identity or a civic identity is too narrow. All sorts of crimes against humanity have and are taking place in the name of nationalism. Be it the phobia of immigrants, refugee crisis in the world, climate change crisis, war mentality and poverty. Nothing is by default! Everything is by design.
Some say, I’m a hard core capitalist. By hard core they mean, environment doesn’t matter to them. They can pay inhuman wages, destroy our rivers, cut countless trees, create tech to snatch bread from people and breach all norms of human dignity. Yes. That’s acceptable! That’s for a holy mission! The ultimate goal of life: Profit! You heard it. Profit!
All this is a narrow conception of identity. Your identity circle is small. It is exclusionary, divisive and antithetical to the core ingredient of life: Love!
Why can’t you expand your identity circle a bit? Why can’t you make an all encompassing identity for yourself? Where is your “human” identity?
When you enlarge your identity circle, you will find that nothing is separate from you. You’ll find yourself everywhere. It would make you limitless. It would make you connect to the soul of all humans, no matter what their narrow identity is. Human identity doesn’t mean that the narrow identities would disappear. They would exist. But they would be subservient to your dominant identity. That’s a Human identity.
If you can expand your identity circle a bit more, you’ll find that you’re an incredible living creature on this planet. Then you don’t feel separate from the trees and the wildlife. You feel part of the world of every living creature. Then you need not build your houses by destroying their homes.
You can even enlarge your identity circle. This is associating yourself to the entire cosmos or the universe. There, you think of yourself as a tiny but important element of the universe.
It makes you humble but strong. You are then able to think holistically. Every living and non living thing becomes part of your world. It eliminates fear, suspicion and animosity. It cultivates love and only love!
So? What’s your identity circle? Where is it going? Is it expanding or contracting?
I ask you again!
Who are you?
What’s your Identity Circle?