Six Identities

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January 9, 2022- No, I am not confused as to who I am. There are, however, six elements to a person’s identity-as I learned in a most instructive session, this afternoon. Each person has genetic, socioeconomic, training, gender, spiritual and cultural identities, which make up the whole self.

My genetic identity confers German, French, English, Irish, and Penobscot (Penawapskewi) ancestry. I may have residual Sorb, Polish, Roma and Jewish elements in my lineage, as well. Much remains to be learned about this aspect of my identity.

My socioeconomic heritage is lower middle class, conferring a strong work ethic and sense of integrity. My father had worked his way up to middle management, by the time of his death. Both sides of my family had agricultural roots, with both of my grandfathers maintaining small farm holdings, whilst still working in factory jobs. My mother had cosmetology training and cut women’s hair, in our home, when we were young. I am now in the middle ranks of the middle class, as it were, through a combination of earnings and investment income.

My training identity is as an educator, counselor, and school administrator. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Education, with an emphasis in Counseling, and additional credentials in School Administration and Community College Instruction. It’s ironic that the last two have been Achilles heels, in my professional life.

In terms of gender, I am unreservedly, comfortably male. I feel passionately loving towards girls and women, with a parental and brotherly orientation, these days. I have no antipathy towards anyone of other orientations or gender identities.

My spiritual background was Roman Catholic, and I was raised to have an ecumenical view of other Christian denominations and the Jewish Faith. I have long felt that there is no true separation between people, based on religious or philosophical practices. This last made my acceptance and practice of the Baha’i Faith a very easy step, when I reached the age of thirty. I maintain that there is but one Human Race and that all religions are part of the same spiritual flow, from the dawn of humanity.

My cultural identity is varied. I could say that I practice “Baha’i culture”, yet that is something that will be long evolving. I could say I adhere to “American” culture, yet there is scant agreement on what that even is. My cultural influences have been cards dealt me, where I have lived. Coastal New England has a distinct culture. So do the interior of Maine, the Navajo (Dineh) Nation, the Hopi lands, Jeju Island (Korea), the western Arizona desert, and the central Arizona Highlands. I have learned important lessons in each of these locales-and in places I have merely visited for a short time, from southeast Alaska, to Israel and Guyana-and so many places in between.

The last two elements, of who Gary is, are works in progress. I can only say that the goal of the end product is for a soul who is worthy of his Creator’s mercy and love, at the end of this earthly trail.

Brexit and Bust?

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June 27, 2016, Prescott- One of the lessons that I have had to learn, three times, is that there are consequences to ill-planning, and even more to no planning at all. For this very reason, I have seen fit to go back to working full-time, come August.

It is coming to light that the advocates of Britain’s exit from the European Union had no coherent strategy.  This raises the old adage, “Be careful for what you wish; you might get it.”  Pandora and her box  also come to  mind, but you get my point.  Here, we have an entire nation that must abide the consequences deriving from the seeming whims of a slender majority, of a minority of registered voters.

I will have more to say about the devaluing of men, in a coming post.  The larger issue here, though, is that, no matter what a nation seeks to accomplish, its chosen leaders need to plan, to strategize in advance.  To be fair,  recent American leaders have not been paragons of strategy, either.  Passing a law, with no clear understanding of its terms, is not an example to offer up to the British, or anyone else.

I admire much about the United Kingdom, and its four distinctive indigenous communities.  I would like to spend some time there, within the next ten years, (along with several other countries).  It would be well if I do not go and find a wreck.  In order to avoid such, here’s hoping that the British stick to their present notion of taking their time with the actual exit.  It does not have to adhere to the German ach schnell!  Rather, the possibility of admitting to an expensive mistake, enacting reforms that would bring  a real sense of worth to the average middle class British worker and further reforms that give the common European a sense that the Union belongs to the people- these are the things that would have obviated the “Brexit” in the first place.  People who feel like they matter, have no problem accommodating newcomers.  People who feel ignored, are fodder for demagogues, and for nativism, whose repercussions they have scant understanding.

This shall be a nerve-wracking, but nonetheless fascinating learning curve, for the British people, and for us all.