~ 3 min read, publishedPublished 8 September 2018 02:31 - Updated 7 October 2018 01:42 (290 views)
It is our identity that distinguishes us from other people. Your characteristics, values, and heritage are what define you as a person. However, I like to think that identity can be divided into sub-groups, such as social- and personal identity. Social identity being how you portray yourself to friends, family, strangers, and on the internet, whereas personal identity is who you truly are. The group with which you choose to categorize yourself, is in most cases based on your identity.
With different identities, comes different thoughts, beliefs, and ways of living. To avoid war and conflict between the human race, we have to respect one another for who we are and what we believe in. No one should feel like they have to change who they are in order to please another person. Everyone should be free to be who they are and live their life the way they want as long as it does not directly impede on another person's happiness. We need to accept that we are all different and that we do not all agree on everything, but we can respect one another in spite of our differences.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) argues that everybody is entitled to their own opinion and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood. In other words, residents in countries that have signed the agreement have to respect other people’s identity for what it is. This does not mean that the countries that have not signed the agreement are free to discriminate against people based on their identity, it is rather an opportunity of change, and we must show our support to help the countries in need of change. Even if it were not a human right, it would still have been overcome by norms in society.
The roots of your identity are formed already from when you were a toddler; your upbringing. Family heritage plays an important role in one’s identity. Ethics and morality are things you have been taught, but as parents’ offspring grow older and become adolescents, they start to experience life from their personal point-of-view and form their own opinions on different matters. This can cause conflict in several families, as some parents have pushed such high standards and expectations onto their children based on their own values, and might even lead to children rebelling.
The transition from being a kid to becoming an adolescent can be difficult for some children. This is the moment when children experience, develop and adapt conditions that will eventually stick with them for most of their life. This could lead to parents becoming extra strict, because they want the best for their children and to protect them from bad behavior, such as drugs, alcohol, and pregnancy at an early age. This can prevent children from being able to experience life and form their identity, thereby leading to conflicts. The child’s sexual orientation may also be a problem, because some adolescents discover that they are not heterosexual, which could contradict what some families may have talked about – how it is a sin not to like the opposite gender.
Another factor that could cause disagreement can be immigration and the feeling of acculturation. Some families have immigrated to new countries and settled there. When kids part of these families grows up, they will often have a different mindset and perception on life than their parents, so-called acculturation gaps. This can cause conflict, because the children are usually more integrated into society than their parents. Some parents may never acquire enough competency with the new culture to become as integrated into the new society as their children. The parents then want, and in some cases force, the children to hold on to the family heritage and pass it onto the next generation, which can cause conflicts. (Immigration, 2011)
In conclusion, everybody has their own unique identity, and as a part of society we have to understand and respect the fact that everybody is different and may have a disparate perception on life than us. Accepting one another for who they are will avoid conflicts and war between people. Everybody in the world are not supposed to be friends, but we are supposed to respect one another for who we are and what we believe in.
Immigration (April 2011 / October 2011), in Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development [Internet]. Available from <http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/immigration/according-experts/intergenerational-differences-acculturation> [Read 24. November 2017]