Below is my script for Pause for Thought on BBC Radio Devon:
Using the brilliant Disney film ‘The Jungle Book’ this week, we’ve thought about following, anxiety and trust. Today we look at identity.
The monkeys had kidnapped Mowgli and taken him to their leader, the orangutan King Louie, who wanted the power of fire that humans had.
He sings, “I wanna be like you, I want to walk like you, talk like you, …”
Human beings learn by copying others.
It’s as if we copy others in order that we become ourselves.
So while we maintain our unique identity; to reach it, we need community. We need others.
I came across this little gem today in a great book named below:
“It is easy to play the world’s game which is the power game, the game which depends on setting myself apart from others, distinguishing myself, seeking the limelight and looking for applause. I find that it is only too easy to become compulsive in my continual need for affirmation, for more and more affirmation, as I anxiously ask Who am I?
Am I the person who is liked, admired, praised, seen as successful? My whole attitude towards myself becomes determined by the way in which others see me. I compare myself with others, and I try to emphasize what is different and distinctive about me. Those three temptations which Christ faced in the wilderness are equally my own temptations:
1. to be relevant. 2. to be spectacular. 3. to be powerful
Am I able, like Christ, to put them down? Am I prepared to shed all these outer shells, of false ambition, of pride? Am I ready to admit that the mask is a disguise put on to cover up the insecure self? and the armour a shield to protect the vulnerable self?
Am I ready to receive a new self, based not on what I can achieve, but on what I am willing to receive?
Humility is….. facing the truth.”
Esther de Waal, Living with Contradiction, p.96