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What is it that makes me different from everyone else? This is a question most philosophers ask when it comes to personal identity. This precisely is a question of life and death and the accurate answer is to decide on which changes a person can undertake without coming to an end. There are some questions of our own existence like is there life after death? Who am I? To differentiate these changes that make up survival to death, there is a basis of personal identity given through time.
The dictionary definition of identity is the characteristics determining who or what a person or thing is. My personal definition of identity is similar but I believe it is characteristics that separate each person from each person. My identity is affected by many things such as my family, religion, cultural heritage, friends and the experiences I have lived through. These factors weigh differently for each person but for me, I think my friends and family are the most important factor. Your parents and siblings affect you the most because you spend almost every single day with them.
My parents have taught me all the basics. If you want to see the real me, put me in the midst of my family. In their midst I become happier, crazier, calmer, and an overall better person. I know that I’m a better person when I’m with them because they allow me to be my true self and I don’t have to be afraid that I won’t be liked. They are the ones who ensure I reach my goal because there is a sibling I need to compete with. It keeps my mind clear of distractions and constantly remind me of how important my future. A similar group of people who do this for me are my friends. They affect almost everything of what I do. For me behavior they influence me with what I do, what I enjoy, where I go and my interests. They have made my interests a lot to do with games and computers. This has led me to take information technologies in the college and I have applied for computer sciences.
They also affect my behavior because of all the time we spend together we start to copy each other and also challenge each other to see who can be the best at the goals we have that are similar. One of the factors that do not affect me is religion, although it does affect many other people. Although if I were to believe in something it would be the scientific route. Ever since I was young my family has always been Buddhist, which has only affected me when I am in Taiwan which is the country that all my family except my immediate family. My family is all Taiwanese and we all speak mandarin. This does not have a major effect on me since we are not very traditional and it is quite difficult to celebrate many of the holidays. It has affected my behavior since my lifestyle is different to many South Africans. There have been many experiences that I have learnt from. It is impossible for me to write all the lessons which I learned from my life because they are innumerable. But I would like to share the most important of them. Through the many different experiences you can either learn from it or not. Each of these lessons could be a different moral, such as to not live in regret or that most people around you are selfish. These are some of the most common ways a person’s own identity can be affected or created. They are affected by all these things whether they are aware of it or not.
Personal identity is a complex topic because many things can influence who you are and what makes you different from anyone else. In conclusion I believe that my soul, my ability to make memories, my consciousness, and the different stages in my life makeup my personal identity.
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