Oct 30, 2005, 7:04 AM
Post #1 of 17
I wonder why moderator closed the Grade A thread just when it started to become truly interesting. I admit I was baffled by what Oscar2 really meant by what he wrote, but it hit me when I read Jerezano's statement: "I am a Number 1 American. I would like very much to be a Number 1 Mexican."
Why would anyone aspire to dissolve his/her previous identity into a new identity? Why would anyone want to become more catholic than a pope? It does not matter (to me, anyway) whether or not it is doeable. What matters is "why would someone want to"? "who, and how, could benefit from it"?
May be it is a male thing: an (overblown?) ego that surrounds those human creatures customarily wearing pants... You, ladies out there: has any of you ever labeled yourself as "number 1 american"? And, if you did, would anybody else perceive you as such? Because your identity feeling, your ego, will always be tested with - oh, well, I will not call it reality as to not invite a discussion whether more real is what is external or what's internal - perceptions of others.
It would never occur to me to strive to be #1 anybody other than being #1 ME. Being born Polish-German I could never pass for either being # 1 Pole or #1 German, even if I wanted to (they differ too much... and hate each other too much). Should I want to become just one of them, instead of striving to acquire the best of both cultures (likme being a spontaneous rebel and being highly logical and organized at the same time) and discard the worst (like being too much of a nay-sayer and too deferrent to authorities)???
Then I married a Swede and became a Swedish citizen. And again: should I strive to become #1 Swede? Ridiculous!
I just adapted to life in Sweden, acquired a partially Swedish identity in addition to my previous ones, discarded some elements of previous identity (became a tad less belligerent, a tad more diplomatic, acquired a taste for sophisticated simplicity, for less is more).
A decade passed and I emigrated to the USA. Strive to become #1 American? No way. Adapt, yes, even assimilate, may be even over an otherwise accaptable limit ( for example when American heavy, too ornate and too overloaded with all kinds of knick-knacks decorating style became not only less hideous, but partially acceptable to me, even in my own home, there, I think, I passed the line between desirable adaptation and undesirable assimilation and may be it's time to move somethere else again) , but to dissolve into "americanness"??? And stop being ME? Why???
Being an American (French, Dutch, South-African or Japanese) living in Mexico, adapting to life there, assimilating parts of its culture, yes. Dissolving in it? I'd say no.
Vivere non est necesse, navigare necesse est!