Good morning/afternoon everyone, my name is Jessica Holmes and I’m coming from the VCAA education department. I’m here today to talk to you about how, “our identity is shaped by our relationships”. When I say relationships, I don’t just mean boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, I’m also talking about family, friends and other relationships. I’m talking about identity since it’s your context writing theme for year 12.
Our family is huge in determining who we are and what we are all about. They tell us from day one what is good about us and what we can or cannot do and we absorb it all as children letting it shape us. Our family in most cases dictate our political beliefs, our economic beliefs, our religion, and our social beliefs and frame our overall view of the world. Think of the beliefs you developed outside of the family and you won’t find many. Now the problem these days is that the family as we know is falling apart. There are too many single parent families; a young man does not have a role model for a male because the dad is not there. This is a problem as that young man now gets his idea of being a man from bad influences, such as local thugs or a character from a movie. Even with the families fragmenting these days, the role of the family in our lives is huge beyond anything we can ever understand.
Your friends shape your identity just as much as your family, if not more. You learn different things from every person you meet. Your friends are someone who you are with most of the time, so you would pick up many things from them. You gather the traits from those around you and your mind will tell you which are good and bad. Mean Girls is a perfect example of how friends shape you. Cady changes herself to fit in with her new posh friends, her friends shaped her as a mean girl, but it wasn’t long till she found who her real friends were and what her identity was. Your identity is shaped by your real friends, who you hang out with the most.
Our other relationships that shape our identity would be our teachers. They teach us what is good and bad and they educate us and help us. Our employers are another source that shapes our identity; they shape out who we are and what our profession is. Our society and neighbours also shape our identity. In the novel “Growing up Asian in Australia”, Tom Cho wrote a short story called “Learning English”. He had to learn English to mingle with this neighbours and the society he lived in. When he first arrived in Australia, he didn’t know English, so he found it difficult to communicate with everyone. He learned English for the society, so the society shaped him.
I would like to finish up by saying; every relationship shapes your identity. You would not know about it, but if you think about it, all relationships play their own roles and shape your identity in their own way.