On Identity

The question at the core of our individual collective dilemma is clearly:  who am I, and how am I to be in the world?

It’s not one we ever answer to our full satisfaction since who we are as individuals and as co-creators of the world is constantly changing!

This week I’m preparing a lesson for the group I lead at StepUp, focusing on the complexity of our unique identities, the tendency to want to “categorize” people, and the pain and confusion that is so often caused when we do that (when we make assumptions about people and don’t take the time to allow them to reveal themselves to us).

Participants will be encouraged to think about how they “self-identify” by reflecting upon some of the most common categories (see below) and sharing their experiences.

  • Age or age group
  • Appearance (Ex: 5’5”, brown hair, green eyes,stocky build, etc.)
  • Gender or gender identification
  • Sexual Orientation (Ex: heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, etc.)
  • Physical Health or ability
  • Mental Health or ability
  • Social or Economic Status
  • Occupation, activities & interests (What you “do)
  • Ethnicity (your connection with others in a particular cultural group)
  • Nationality (Country of Citizenship)
  • Worldview & Values (Ex: political, spiritual, cultural, etc.)
  • Relational Identity (Ex: parent, brother, sister, niece, friend, neighbor, etc.)
  • Locality (The place with which you most identify – ex: Where you were born, lived, or now live, etc.

What aspects of your identity do you recognize, claim and celebrate?




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