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Beyond the tribe

Identity is rooted in self-awareness. Analytical psychology suggests that as children, we see ourselves from our parents purview, and this is why toddlers around the age of 18 months refer to themselves in third person. Toddlers are not fully conscious of what’s going on around them, and their knowledge base is not developed enough to make connections between ideas. When we were toddlers, we each event as an isolated moment and we built upon each isolated experience new experiences that refer to the previous ones and thus we established more “conscious” thinking. This “conscious” way of thinking forms what is called “ego-consciousness”. From the time we started referring to ourselves as “I”, we began the process of seeing ourselves in relationship to the world around us. Our thoughts, which were informed by our parents and communities in our childhood, deepened as our experiences either reinforced or contradicted their lessons. Many of us were taught to see ourselves and others as separate according to nationality, ethnicity, socio-economic class, gender, religious or political affiliation. How we see ourselves in relationship to others, squarely impacts the way that we regard and respect our fellow humans.

Currently, America is in a “social media civil war” due to ideas of American identity amongst other things. It’s citizens are choosing sides and weakening the country as a result. American identity at home and abroad may become more cohesive if global citizenship were emphasized juxtaposed to national identity awareness. Discover more about what we can do to unify our country.

  • “Global Citizenship: Self-Identifying Beyond my Tribe”