Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Personal Diaspora

Diaspora refers to any movement of a population sharing a common identity, specifically a permanently displaced or relocated collective.

I share a common identity with myself. As I am changed and molded by the people around me, by the experiences I have and by the decisions I make, I constantly relocate the population of me. Because the changes I experience will never move me back to the state in which I began, I am also permanently displaced from that beginning. A diaspora.

I have always found the human need to label self and others fascinating. You and I cannot simply be acquaintences, friends even; instead, we must be best friends, associates, teammates, etc. Some of this is necessary to perform simple duties of life, some of this is done for convenience. However, when I introduce to you my boss, my girlfriend or my brother, I do not begin with their name. Instead, I will introduce to you my boss, Joe. Label before name. Even as I do this, it bothers me.

Yet, it may not be quite the problem I initially believed it to be. In order to know ourselves or others, it is necessary to identify who we are dealing with. Such a label carries with it immense weight and meaning - when I introduce Joe to you as my boss, I am telling you that he has great influence over me, that I must be careful what I do and say around him, that he has a say in my future. The label serves as a constant reminder of who and what we are dealing with.

This brings me back to the beginning. My personal diaspora. You may think that I am foolish or silly for placing a label onto myself. However, I believe we forget who we are and what our purpose is more quickly and more easily than we believe we do. If I am willing to identify myself in a certain way and look at myself through that light, I have a much better chance of becoming the person I hope to become than I would otherwise.

I am starting this blog as a way for me to keep track of and reflect on the relocations and changes happening to this community of one. Feel free to join me in this. To create a collective of shared identities with you would be an honor.

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