The Identity Crisis running amongst today’s young generation

By Jolly Mutesi
On 5 June 2019 at 09:00

An identity, at its simplest, is a label we apply to ourselves and to others. Your gender. Your sexuality. Your class, nationality, ethnicity, among others.

Labels always come with rules of ascription. When we apply a label to ourselves, we’re accepting that we have some qualifying trait – say, Rwandan or Burundian, attractions to one gender or another, etc...

More important, there are things we believe we should feel and think and do as a result. Identities, for the people who have them, are not inert facts; they are living guides. Thus, losing your identity or having an ’identity crisis’ translates to losing a profound part of oneself.

So often the environment that surrounds us, from our colleagues at work, peers from school and our families can at times be too demanding that we tend to satisfy them, losing who we are and our ‘identity’ to become who they want us to be.

Just like any other human, I believe in associating and living with others in harmony but again, it makes no sense when one gets to a point of losing themselves to satisfy other people. Without a shred of doubt, I believe that every human’s prime goal is to protect their self-worth from peril because no one wants to lose it.

Why then give in to others’ demands to the point of losing your own worth? It’s through losing our identity that we run into drug abuse, prostitution, to mention a few. As a young person and responsible citizen, I urge every young person out there to live a life with a purpose, have an identity.

Yes, it may be easier said than done, but you won’t know if you do not try. You’ll need all the help you can get, starting from a conducive environment. It’s well articulated that birds of the same feathers flock together, thus, surround yourself with the right people; people with value, vision and good intentions to guide you on the right path. As flag bearers and responsible citizens, let’s build up our identities for a bright future.

Former Miss Rwanda 2016, Jolly Mutesi, Author of this opinion

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