“To what extend should nation be the foundation of identity?”
A person’s identity is not something that can be created by the means of petty things. Whether a person wants to believe it or not, their identity is formed by the people around, them, the country they live in and the history of their country. A Canadian citizen is a great example of someone whose identity is shaped by their nation. Things like symbols, government involvement, and the co-existence with other Canadians, truly form a person. Although Nation plays an important role in ones identity, there are other contributing factors that should be placed at the foundation of one’s identity.
Symbols of Canadian identity often turn out to be symbols of individual identity as well. Canadians have common bonds in which they are all able to relate to. One symbol for Canada is hockey, most Canadians are able to relate with others when it comes to Hockey. The feeling which we as Canadians receive when our Olympic hockey team steps on the ice for the first time together in our years, is a feeling that no one, other than a Canadian can relate to. That is something that forms individual identity as well. Something you are proud of, and that holds a special place in your heart, would contribute to your own identity. Other things like morning coffee runs to Tim Hortons, or the feeling of pride when you pass a Mounted Police offer, are things that not only shape Canada’s national identity, but also Canadians individual identity.
Political and government involvement is also something that can form ones identity. For instance Canada is a “Peace-keeping Nation”, and one could say that they are very passionate about peace-keeping and the idea behind it. Government involvement in ones education could also play a role in ones identity. In Canada, we are able to have access to great Education therefore, we are able to shape who we are through our education. Whereas people from countries in Africa, are not provided with the Education we are provided with in Canada; meaning those people who are not provided with the same education are less likely to say education is a part of their identity. The way a government is ran, is something that effect (affects) our individual identity whether we see it or not. The government, or the system behind it, challenges us to become passionate about certain things, therefore causing our identity to reflect those passions.
Being a citizen of a nation is something that shapes a person’s identity as well. In being a citizen, one has the responsibility of co-existing with other citizens. With that responsibility comes expectations. In countries like Canada, we are expected to be able to peacefully and fully live with one another. It shapes our character, and who we are. The people around us have a great influence on who we are; and because the people around us have been shaped by nation, so have we.
Although the examples stated above have been proven to shape ones identity, they have not founded it. The country you are from, and the laws it abides by is a huge part of a person’s individual identity, but nation is only a shaper, only an influence. Influence is not foundation. One’s identity is usually founded on the big things. Things like religious beliefs, and one’s family. Identity is founded on the things that a person chooses to live their life around, and in all honesty, it is a little extreme to live your life based on your nation. It is reasonable to allow ones nation shape who they are, however it should not be the foundation of one’s self, or identity.