On Our Identities

Our identity seems to be formed largely by words. Let’s say, for example, that humans had no verbal language. How would one form an identity? After all, our identity seems to be formed largely by words – we have a name, we have a word that designates our culture or ethnicity, we use words to describe our personalities and physical features. If someone told you to ‘describe yourself’ you would do it using words.

‘Identity’ itself is just a word. We think that we have an identity, but this ‘identity’ is just an abstract concept. Yes, it appears that our ‘identity’ is mostly formed by words. Without words, I wonder how we would describe ourselves – how we would view ourselves. A baby, for example, seems to lack an identity (because they do not know the words that are used to describe an identity). Likewise, a baby never worries about appearances, or existential themes, or its personality. However, a baby also lacks the understanding and consciousness to grasp these concepts but still – I cant help but think that, since a baby lacks the words to describe an identity, this baby doesn’t have an identity, and therefore the infant lives its life peacefully. We seem to worry so much about our identities – when in reality our identity consists of a bundle of abstract, superficial words that have no meaning except the meaning we give to them.

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