who are you?
answer the following questions using the material given. Please state the question above the answer.
Suppose you asked a friend,“How did you acquire your particular identity your sentiments and preferences and attitudes?” Then suppose the friend responded, “I’m an individual. No one else influences me. I do my own thing, and I select the sentiments and preferences and attitudes that suit me.” How would you explain to your friend what you learned in this chapter?
Who Are You?
Suppose someone asked, “Who are you?” It would be simple enough to respond with your name. But if the person wanted to know the entire story about who you are, the question would be more difficult to answer. You’d obviously have to give the details of your height, age, and weight. You’d also have to include all your sentiments and preferences, even the secret ones you’ve never shared with anyone—your affection for your loved ones; your desire to please the people you associate with; your dislike of your older sister’s husband; your allegiance to your favorite beverage, brand of clothing, and music.
In light of what we have discussed, we should regard individuality not as something we are born with but rather as something acquired—or, more precisely, earned. Individuality begins in the realization that it is impossi- ble to escape being influenced by other people and by circumstance. The essence of individuality is vigilance. The following guidelines will help you achieve this:
1. Treat your first reaction to any person, issue, or situation as tentative. No matter how appealing it may be, refuse to embrace it until you have examined it. ?
2. Decide why you reacted as you did. Consider whether you borrowed the reaction from someone else—a parent or friend, perhaps, or a celebrity or fictional character on television. If possible, determine what specific experiences conditioned you to react this way. ?
3. Think of other possible reactions you might have had to the person, issue, or situation. ?
4. Ask yourself whether one of the other reactions is more appropriate than your first reaction. And when you answer, resist the influence of your conditioning. ?To ensure that you will really be an individual and not merely claim ?
to be one, apply these guidelines throughout your work in this book, as well as in your everyday life.