Who are we? What is our personality? What is our core identity?

I’ve been thinking again. Always a risk with me. For whatever reason, I am always striving to decrease my faults and increase my better qualities. I grew up poor with loving but alcoholic parents, with my father dying when I was eight. I had speech issues, stuttering and stammering along with many other issues. So, improving was always on my mind. In my senior years I have learned that so many of the characteristics I possess, both good and bad, are not of my own choosing. Of course, no one, to my knowledge, asked me before I got here what characteristics I wanted to have during this brief journey on Planet Earth. In a way, that made me feel a little better, knowing most of my faults are not my doing. The more I thought about the many factors that influence who I am today, the more I realized that the real me, my pure mind or soul or what have you, the core piece of energy that is pure me, is very, very small. Almost everything, every characteristics from my anxiety to my humor, to my fears to my loves, everything is influence by a host of factors I had no choice in, I wonder if I may be entitled to compensation? Is there a lawyer in the house?

I have composed a list of influences. I want to emphasize that there are things that influence who we are. Not necessarily  determine who we are. I believe that our souls do possess free will, so we can choose to change our characteristics. We can choose to reduce certain qualities and enhance better ones. We can overcome fears caused by our childhood, prejudices caused by our culture or time period we are born into. We can decide who we want to be. But, when you see the list below, you will realize we have a huge task.

Anyway, this is all speculation on my part. Yes, there are good websites about what influences our core identity.  This is my list, which is just speculation on my part and probably not even complete.

  • Animal Body: Let’s be real. Whatever life force we are, we are walking this earth inside raw animal bodies. We are not animals, but our bodies are. Our animal bodies are hard coded with programming to encourage us to survive, no matter what. To eat, sleep, procreate, defend ourselves or our territory. Fight or flight. This is one of the biggest influences over our core identity.
  • ERA: The era you are born in. Differences between 875 AD, 300 BC or 2023 AD, etc. One cannot help but to be influenced by the science, religion, civilization, and culture of the era of time you are born in.
  • Generation: The generation you are a part of. The Silent Generation:Born 1928-1945, Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964, Gen X: Born 1965-1980, Millennials: Born 1981-1996, Gen Z: Born 1997-2012, Gen Alpha: Born early 2010s-2025. In America especially, society and culture was different during each of these periods. Technology was different, religion was different, culture and society is different in different generational periods. These influence us to a certain degree.
  • Country: The country you are born and raised in and it’s society and culture.
  • Religion: Whether or not you are raised in a religion or not.
  • Gender: Your gender, Male or Female, has a strong influence on who you are.
  • Genetics and DNA: Some characteristics are inherited.
  • Race: Race influences you to certain degree.
  • Physical Health: Dealing with a disease, disability, being physically strong versus not, size, height, weight, these things can influence who you are.
  • Mental Health: Everything from mental illness, learning disorders, raw intelligence (IQ) to numerous other minor mental issues.
  • Parents: The parental situation you were raised in. Two parents, one, adopted, abused, etc. How you were raised.
  • Family: Siblings, extended family, etc.
  • Economics: The financial situation you are raised in. Poverty, hunger, wealth, etc.

Again, remember the key word, influence, not determine. We do have free will and we should be striving to be true to our core self. Once you find it.