God said, “I am who I am.” While this response sounds escapist, it has come to be the closest definition of what I believe I am. My name is John Geibel. I was born and brought up in Summit, New Jersey. From this town, I have grown to understand what life is. My conception of life and my identity have been greatly shaped by this town and my family.
Being a first born in a family of four has also bestowed upon me responsibilities that assisted in shaping my identity. Consequently, I will try to identify myself in my own picture and what I believe other people believe I am.
As mentioned above, I have always believed that I am who I am. I use this expression because I have always told myself and others that what people expect me to be is not what I am. I am what I expect myself to be. As a result, every step I take, every decision I make, and every opinion I have is not shaped by what the society expects of me, but by what I expect of myself.
This, coupled up with my dreams and ambitions has helped me come up with decisions that have some times amazed my colleagues and family. Given my ambitions and expectations, I have always acted within limits that promote and not retrogress these two. In real sense, I can say that I am John Geibel and I share my identity with nobody else.
I also believe that my identity is not only characterized by my opinions and decisions. I am a wholesome package comprised of both mental and physical attributes. To maintain my identity, I usually try to ensure that both the two are well nourished. This has made me an outstanding sports person. In school, I participate in several sports. I am one of the best players in the school’s football team. At the same time, I am excellent in lacrosse and wrestling. Through these sports, my physical identity has been established.
Another of my self identity is strong will and determination. These have made me a leader in most of my social circles. In my family, my two brothers and one sister look upon me as a figure of strength. This defines my position in the family. My parents expect me to be a figure from which my younger brothers and sister can emulate. Therefore, my identity in the family is defined by strength and virtue. My family members see me as virtuous and strong enough to withstand pressure and circumstances. With this, my siblings have tried to live within the limits of my standards because they are good and lead to success in life.
A human being is a social creature. I am not an exception. As mentioned earlier, most of my life’s opinions and conceptions have been shaped by my Summit neighborhood and my family. Friends and family members are therefore an integral part of me. Their opinions of me matter a lot. This conception has made me try my best to ensure that I become a pillar upon which others can derive strength. As a result, most people conceive me to be a strong willed person who never allows circumstances to overwhelm him. They see me to be a principled person whose opinions cannot be swayed by mere speculations. Although I believe that I am simply a determined and principled person, some people have confused me for an obstinate person. They tend to believe that I am a conservative person who never gives room to new ideas.
I identify myself as a unit that makes up humanity. I believe that an individual is a single unit that makes up a family which makes up a community that eventually makes up the world. The importance I hold for my family is similar to that I hold for the world. I am an individual and I believe that what I do to my neighbor is not just done to him but to one of the units that make up the world. Therefore, an injustice committed to one person is an injustice committed to humanity as a whole.
Consequently, I believe that I am a unit that plays an important role in the world. Every decision and opinion that I have for my neighbor is a decision to humanity. By being the pillar of strength among my peers and my family, I similarly become a pillar of strength to humanity as a whole. This is why I have constantly surrounded myself with friends.
By believing in me, I have to ensure that they emulate good morals from me. This is not from their expectations, but from my own expectations. I believe that the world needs to be a place where virtues prevail. By exhibiting virtuous characters, I make others also do the same. Therefore, I am a form of educator in the world.
My identity remains constant. This is evidenced by the phrase I used to identify myself. I am who I am. My thinking and conceptualization has remained constant. This is especially true considering that I do not make my opinions and decisions depending on what others expect of me.
I make my opinions according to the expectations that I have set for myself. Because of this, the changing environment in terms of culture and economic status has not succeeded in changing my identity.
I believe that the environmental changes are not cues enough to change my identity. These environmental changes simply call for readjustment in strategies of dealing with circumstances. How I survive in the various economic statuses and how I am able to mingle and socialize within the society are important tools for longevity. However, the skills one acquires in response to environmental changes do not affect their identity.
In some cases, people conceptualize my identity wrongly. What I have always known is that I cannot divert from my path. Goals that I have in life act as my driving force. By refusing to divert from my chosen path, some people have misconceived me for an adamant, obstinate and stubborn person.
This is one of the nasty experiences of my identity. I therefore express my identity by trying to be an example upon which other people can follow. I express this by acting in sync with my goals and expectations. I try to do to others what I would wish done to me. This is all formulated by my belief in the fact that an individual is a single unit that eventually makes up the whole world. Therefore, by messing up one person, one will have messed up with the entire humanity.
Several challenges are experienced in maintaining one’s identity. To begin with, there are instances where what one thinks he is not exactly what others think he is. Given this, one has to have a strong will in order to maintain self identity that is not mellowed by public expectations.
Being a student at Pepperdine University has been a subjection to great challenges. Given that most of us are youth within a common age bracket, the expectations of most of the students are that a university student has to drink, go to discos, use drugs and simply enjoy life. Sadly, this has not been my way of life. My expectations and objectives in life do not allow me to do these.
As mentioned, my decisions are not based upon the expectations of others. So, while other students expect to see me participate in their fun, I have had to refuse their invitations because every decision that I make is based on my own analysis. This has made most of the students find me boring and shunned my company.
In conclusion, it is clear that self identity is a subject that should be given utmost concentration. By understanding one’s identity, it becomes easy for one to withstand pressure from circumstances. Furthermore, by having knowledge of how the world conceives your identity, it allows one to play a role that does not jeopardize it.
By being a leader and a source of strength and inspiration to people, its important to identify one’s identity as pertains the world because failing to do so might lead to the downfall of all the people that were leaning on you. Therefore, as human beings, we need to understand our identity as an individual.
We then have to understand our identity in community and the world as a whole. With self identity well understand that it upon us to change the world and not the world to change us.