With news breaking last week about the supposed change in the signs of the Zodiac, everyone’s throwing a hissy fit.
Why? Because we depend strongly on identities: names and titles and labels that often influence our everyday lives. Our behavior, relationships with others, and even belief systems are dependent on how we identify. Rather than looking inside ourselves for finding the answer we think is right and then establishing our identity, we make decisions based on our identities.
But isn’t that backwards?!
Here’s an example: When the word got out about the shooting in Tucson, every news station was covering it at the same time. I had read several articles on Yahoo, MSN, and my local newspaper. On every single article I read the reader comments, and found myself disgusted by what I read.
I found several comments regarding Gabrielle Giffords that were filled with nothing but hatred. This includes, “Thank God, one less Democrat to worry about,” and “Obviously, the shooter must be Republican.”
My immediate thought: This is not a bipartisan issue. This is not about who’s a Republican or Democrat. It is about a human being opening fire on a crowd of people.
This is what happens when we choose our identities before we act. We let our affiliations direct our actions, and in turn make us seem like out and out assholes. Just because you don’t identify the same way as somebody else does not mean that you need to lash out and ridicule that person, particularly if they’ve just been shot.
I understand the feeling of belonging. We all want it and need it. We like having things in common with other people; we like having friends. But just for that, we sacrifice what we truly believe just so we can have another label plastered across our foreheads. We sacrifice our own identities for ones given to us by somebody else.
Hence why I do not identify with any political party, religious group, or otherwise. I have my political beliefs, and yes, they do lean more on the liberal side, but that doesn’t make me a Democrat by any means. Just because I identify as a homosexual does not mean that I behave in the stereotypical “gay” ways.
I live my life based on my own experiences. And I know that I can’t make everybody happy with what I believe, but hey, that’s life. That’s why we are here in this country. We have inalienable rights to think, say, and believe what we want. This is a freedom of choice.
So why waste it on what a man behind a pulpit or big time political leader says?
Why not make decisions on what you think is right?
Nobody is going to give you all the answers. You have to do some of the work yourself.
It’s time for you to make decisions for yourself.