Identity are the characteristics, beliefs, personality, appearance and / or expressions that make up a person (self-identity, as emphasized in psychology) or a group (collective identity, as it is outstanding in sociology). … A psychological identity relates to self-image (one’s own mental model of oneself), self-esteem and individuality.

We all have our own identity. Getting up every day and having a purpose is vital to any wellbeing. I’ve spoken to men who have cheat syndromes and no one would know. I’ve spoken to extremely successful women who admit they also have imposter syndrome. The bottom line is that it is impossible to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.

Maybe it’s constant access to media and an overwhelming amount of content, or maybe it’s the post-Covid world we’re moving into. Yet we read more and more about people trying to share what it’s like to be them.

I read an article about black farmers finally getting government aid that was never available to them before they tried to end years of racial discrimination. Their white counterparts feel left out because of their race. I wonder if we’ll ever get to a place where the white pawns will ever understand how unfair it was to the black pawns for as long as we can remember. Will there ever be empathy for what our history has done to the black community?

When our children were young I was full of motherhood. One night I remember looking in the mirror and thinking who are you? I loved being a mother and advocate of the family, but I felt like I didn’t have an identity to call my own. At one level, I felt like I was being abandoned. From the outside everything looked just great.

Most privileged white men have no idea what that feels like. Or how it feels to barely scratch past. Or what it feels like to be a black entrepreneur trying to raise capital without knowing how to play the game. Or possibly being the main parent.

Our own identity is powerful. As we have more and better insights into each other’s lives, I hope that in the post-Covid world we can be more attuned to one another and better understand how to stand in each other’s shoes. The past 16 months have opened our eyes as we have all put our lives on hold trying to support ourselves. It was a bigger lens to other people’s lives.

I hope this is a very good thing in the long run.


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