You both hit on a subject that is dear to me; our perception of who we are being defined by our roles. I’ve been a very traditional American male. Enlisted in the military at 17 because the war in Vietnam was going on [patriot and defender of the nation]. Husband, father [because that’s what a man does]. And way too much identity in my job(s) [typical American man].
My views about government and war have changed since I received my warm welcome home all those years ago. Nobody needs to thank me for any of that. My children are grown and the nest is empty. I retired this month and am no longer valuable in that role. Someone will pick up the sword I dropped. Husband remains of that identity, the rest is the past. Who am I now? A serious question for me. My self perceived identity is not wrapped up in nationality, gender, race or sexual preference, but they influenced it just the same.
In keeping with the original theme of your conversation, while I have always looked at myself as an individual I have always been a product of my environment and circumstances. I have never been in denial of that. We play the hand we are dealt which so many in this day and age call unfair. The world as it is vs. the world we wish it to be.
I’m enjoying your thoughts and hope that your conversation runs long. All that crap about me was just to validate the importance of the subjects you both address.