I’ve been thinking, as I often do, about how we develop our identity — how we think of ourselves and how we try to appear to the world. I’ve always found that decisions against something tend to be as strong an incentive for me as decisions towards something. A friend in college, for example, who talked about herself all the time and never asked about me is a big reason why I try to be a good listener to this day. Legalism in any context but especially in my own religion has defined by contrast my concept of God and grace and compassion in general. I think that’s okay, I think that’s how we learn about the world and how we continue to develop our thoughts and opinions. But ultimately I don’t want my answer to, “Who are you,” to be, “I’m against insensitivity,” or “legalism” or even “injustice,” as important as resistance to evil is. I want to be positive, not in the sense of cheerful and perky necessarily, or even optimistic, but in a more basic, even mathmatical sense. +Jessica. I want not just to fight evil (in whatever form); to reduce the bad. I want to add good, to be good, to be truth and beauty that stands on its own, not that’s defined as what it’s not.
Think about your response to questions about politics, religion, society, humanity. If you can only answer what you dislike about Republicans (or Democrats), religious fundamentalism (or atheism), separatism (or integration), free will (or predestination)*, then do you really have an opinion, an identity? What if all the “bad” suddenly disappeared? Would you know who you are?
*I’m not listing these pairs as opposites, only as disparate.