Gary Riley Riley 1
26 November 2015
Whenever someone asks us who we are, our first natural response is going to be to tell them our name. Then, if they do not know you, your next response would usually be to begin naming some of your relatives in hopes that they might know some of them, which then might give one a better understanding of who you are. The next question is usually, "Where are you from? Followed by yet another popular question, which is, "What do you work at?" ...view middle of the document...
So yes, we are what we are born with but our identity isn’t fixed, there is a process of learning involved that takes time. I was well aware of this when my son was born. I made it a point to teach him the things that a boy should know and I saw to it that he was around as many children as possible early on so that this learning could take place naturally as on its own. I’ve seen people hide their children from the world because of fears such as catching colds and afraid that their child might be hurt because the children might play too rough, but in my opinion this puts the child at a disadvantage in life because they were slow to learn the most basic things due to interaction with others.
Then there are those who believe that identity is shaped by culture. This is, of course, true to a large extent. There are things that become a part of us due to the people in our lives and our surroundings that we will always possess. "Culture connects us by providing a shared set of customs, values ideas, and beliefs"(Latterell10). Our culture truly is what shapes us. I am proud of my culture. I was raised for the most part by my grandparents who lived on a farm. Growing up there taught me that in order to be successful we must work hard. We always grew large gardens, one was for our own use and the other was for family and friends. I learned that if you don't work hard to make your garden grow, you will have less vegetables or more poor quality vegetables to eat that winter. The same goes for the meat that we ate. If you don't get up those mornings before daylight to begin feeding and looking after the needs of the livestock, you will be eating less pork and beef that winter. We weren't what you would call rich by any means, but we always had plenty to go around. back then most people around my community didn't depend on the supermarket for the bulk of their food, they got out and grew their own, and I'm telling you, you will never find pork and beef in a store that tastes half as good as the meat that comes from corn feed animals which are grown and butchered at home. I believe that my culture has made me a better person, and I have worked hard to pass that along to my son.
Personal choices also play a large part in defining who we are. We all have the opportunity to make our own decisions concerning such things as how we dress, who we associate with, and other aspects of our lives. Like the author states, "Rather than seeing all matters of identity as determined by larger cultural forces that are beyond our control, this viewpoint recognizes that individuals participate in and make decisions about their identities"(Latterell 11). I myself am an example of how good and bad decisions shape who we are. I made the bad decision to grow marijuana several years back and a helicopter spotted a few plots close to my house, which led to state and federal agents searching my home and land which turned up...