It’s a formidable task to navigate through the jungle of people, institutions, companies and groups that are vying to help influence our identity.
Sports apparel companies seem to spend the most trying to help make sure we are wearing the right athletic clothes. Each one of us finds a certain amount of identity in our style of clothes or the shoes we wear.
Businesses rely on identity to influence our decision-making in most aspects of our lives. Just ask most men what make or model of vehicle they drive or women where they buy their clothes or children what kind of cell phone they use.
Each personal decision we make helps to identify who we are and what we value.
Some people choose to identify themselves by their participation in certain religious groups and others refuse to be identified as having any belief at all.
As Americans, we identify ourselves collectively as One Nation, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
It’s part of what we recite at certain formal gatherings.
Identifiers such as what we choose to do on Sunday morning or Saturday night helps show what we value by how we spend our time.
We identify ourselves by our conscious decisions to be viewed a certain way or considered of a particular belief, or value a distinct ideology.
We live in a culture that values our individual decision-making and protects our rights, but demands responsibility in order to preserve our liberty and ensure justice for all.
However we identify ourselves, it’s critical that we remember America is a place for us to celebrate an identity that we have been blessed to have the freedom to choose and to tolerate an identity we may not agree with.
At least, that’s what I teach!