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The corona crisis and human identity


How the corona virus has forced us to reconsider our basic human needs, and therefore re shape our identity.



Our identity is about who or what we are; our mental model of ourselves and our individuality. It involves the way we think and how we perceive we are viewed by the world.


Our collective identity as human beings involves a sense of belonging and purpose and has a strong relation to sociology. Over the last few weeks I have seen many changes in our response to what is happening worldwide. Our concepts of what is important are changing and our beliefs about previous values getting challenged. What we now are interested in or see as desirable qualities have become different as our collective identity changes.


We have been reminded of the importance of our basic needs such as health, medicine, food and exercise.


I have seen collective celebration and re-acknowledging of the importance of those that help others as their vocational choice. At this time of great need their significance in our lives has been recognised and restored to its rightful position.


What we are embracing is far more real than some of the things that we normally may admire or in which we may indulge. The role of the NHS and that of other individuals in supporting our lives and helping them run smoothly has been recognised and re-evaluated as having vital significance at this time.


Many times I have heard “What would we do without them?” This is one of the best questions I have heard for a long time.


Opportunities


This time provides us with a real opportunity to re-evaluate what is important and what really matters.


We have a real opportunity to re-awaken the belief in emotional warmth and love as we re-own on a much deeper level the close importance of family, friends, community and society.

We have a real opportunity to show deep gratitude to those who are there for us right now, in this time of crisis.


We have a real opportunity to appreciate what we have and what we can do to further nurture and care for what is already there, rather than indulge in the constant pursuit of the next thing or experience.


We have a real opportunity to put ourselves in other peoples’ shoes with their situations, losses and lives. There is always someone else whose situation is much worse than ours.




Throwing Out


We all know that people have been having a “clear out” of clothes and stuff at the tidy tip. This may be a displacement activity in response to the crisis. However, I see that this may also be symbolic perhaps of what we need to consider in terms of de-cluttering our minds to make the space for what really matters; to re-evaluate things that you thought you needed or depended upon that really you do not. There can be a huge liberation in the realization that once we de-clutter the psyche we can create space for the purposes and wisdom that are part of our real human identities

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