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Identity and Belonging

By ayatalali Jul 25, 2013 913 Words
Good relationship can enhance our sense of identity. sharing special relationships with people is one of the most rewarding and elevating moments of our lives. We categorize ourselves in terms of other people and groups. Evolution has taught us that it is beneficial to live in tribes, where we can share out the work of daily survival. When asked about yourself, you may well describe yourself in terms of your work and family relationship. Although we defined ourselves by our membership of groups, we also define ourselves by comparison and contrast with others. I cannot imagine the world without my family they mean everything to me I don’t want to lose them I love them too much. I am very grateful to have them as a family. Our family are the first group to which we belong to, the family has more influence than any other group on forming our identity. Families provide love, protection and the opportunity for us to find out who we are through our relationship with them and others. not all families provide opportunities for personal growth. The expectations of parents and siblings may drive us to want to do better having a positive effect on us or may drive a wedge between parents or siblings and children. Friendships are vital in adolescence as we develop a sense of being individuals. Families continue to be important but we seek ourselves through the relationships we form with our peers. We learn about acceptance and difference. As we get older we learn to value difference from our parents. Our attitudes towards culture and other difference will have a big impact on the way as we growing we treat others who are different to us. We learn that relationships can crumble in minutes or that they can survive conflict. We learn that our everyday lives are enhanced by the presence of our friends, friends are mostly reliable but can also be treacherous. The schoolyard, the hot hub of most schools, is where romance blossoms, friendship are forged, trust is built and confidence renewed. This is also the place where bonds can crumble in second, where difference is conspicuous and rejection scars for life. Like any other teenager at his school, Sunil Badami “didn’t feel ‘black’ anything” and ,drawn by a strong desire to “fit in” and erase differences, he decides to forsake his Indian heritage and adopt an Anglo-Saxon name. similarly, Aditi Gouvernel relates the pain of “look(ing) like shit” in the eyes of her schoolmates. United in their “difference” , Aditi and Wei-Li find in their togetherness the courage to fight the playground bully. Ironically, Aditi’s appearance which is the source of cruelty during her primary school years becomes a coveted feature as an adolescent, when “people describe (her) as ‘pretty’”. The connection we establish with our friends help us grow as individuals. Our real friends stand by our side through the good and the difficult times and make us feel worthwhile. It is however important to recognise that it isn’t just our families and the environment around us that shapes our lives, but also, how we are born, how our DNA is composed. Those who believe that individual nature has a greater impact on who we are now than nurture, suggests that abstract traits such as intelligence, personality, and aggression are also encoded in an individual's DNA. In Andrew Niccol’s acclaimed film ‘Gattaca’, depicts a society which involves a culture of self-advancement through genetic determinisms, a caste system of valid and in-valids and social discrimination based on ‘Genoism’. As Vincent, the main protagonist says “my resume is in my cells”, “Ten fingers, ten toes, that’s all that used to matter. Not now. Now, only seconds old, the exact time and cause of my death was already known.” But is this all we are? The sum of our genetic make-up? Andrew Niccol, establishes that it is the intangible that determines our identity. We are not merely the products of our DNA. We are the product of qualities that cannot be measured scientifically, like determination, courage, integrity and sensitivity. These qualities allow Vincent to challenge the so called “genetically superior specimens”. Hence, indicating that DNA is only a mere backbone of our identity and it is our experience and nurture that shapes us as a whole. Some individuals may see no use in relationships and therefore avoid them all outcast leaves you not finding out who you truly are. In Dawes’s “family man” he talks about a suicide and the effect on the people whom were left behind. This pome also discusses how our sense of belonging is essential to our survival and how being a part of a relationship provides comfort and security. If a person is not in relationship they will not experience the cohesion of two people and would not fully have the privilege of knowing some and befriending their inner qualities and thoughts. Ultimately good relationships help us to discover who is behind our external being and provides us with additional qualities that we can use to gain more relationships or to discover who we are as a person. Knowing who we are and where we belong to makes us feel happy and secure. Family is always the first and forever group that we belong to. They have more influence than any other group in shaping our identity. Other group like friends also help shape our identity but to a lesser extent.

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