Who am I? i or I?

December 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Blogroll, Out of my mind, Self Improvement, Systems Thinking | 1 Comment

Sounds philosophical? Not really. The subject of this blog post was triggered by a discussion with a colleague at work. He said that biggest problem the organizations face today is when people start thinking only in terms of ‘I’. It led me to wonder why ‘I’ is used as a capital letter, when you / he /she start with a small letter. Does it indicate an inflated ego? Could there be another possibility? There were some interesting thoughts as result, which I want to share.

Basically, what we are is what we identify with. In early childhood, we first identify with ourselves, the ‘i’. Then as we get comfortable with surroundings we start opening out. As we grow, whenever we feel threatened by the environment, we feel the need to protect ourselves and shrink more & more in our identification. On the other hand, whatever or whomever we feel comfortable with, we start identifying with whether it is family, friends or colleagues at the work place.

We have our likes and dislikes. Those who share our likes, we feel safe with them. What we dislike, we are uncomfortable with and we can’t identify with it. Thus our scope of identification and in turn or identity starts taking a shape and tends to get colored & hardened over time. It acts as a filter and every input comes to us through that filter.

We have our value system; what we consider right and wrong. That again shapes our identity, whether it is related to cast & community or religion or country. Whatever we consider as right, it is “US”; rest outside is “They”. Over time, it creates auto responses and logic or reason is suspended in such cases. Whether it is war between nations, terrorism arising out of religious beliefs or honor killings based on outdated cast divides is a result of such deep-seated responses.

But do we have to be a victim of this process? Not necessarily. We can choose to be more open to the diversity, choose to see others’ point of view even if it is currently not matching with our own. We can choose to modify our assumptions & beliefs based on what we learn through our intentional exposure to new ideas and new experiences. This approach of openness slowly starts softening the boundaries and making them less colored. The ‘i’ starts moving towards ‘I’. This process is both enjoyable and exhilarating. it comes about not by reading books or attending spiritual discourses but by actually living life moment to moment with an open mind. It is highly practical and not just philosophical. So let’s move from ‘i’ to ‘I’ and see what great change it brings about in us and others we interact with.

Any thoughts & experiences from you would be most welcome.


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  1. […] What we consider as part of us and what as external tools is relative. It depends on how we define our identity. You may like to check https://prkarve.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/who-am-i-i-or-i/ […]

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