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Understanding the Self
Exercise 1
Name/Section: Erica Joy B. Escopete
Ateneo de Naga University
First Semester S/Y 2019-20
July 8, 2019
1. What are the circumstances that force a person to question oneself about his/her identity?
According to Merriam-Webster, identity is the distinguishing character of an
individual. Majority of the people think that they already know their selves fully, but when
circumstances become odd, that is when they question if they truly know who they are.
One of the situations that can make a person question him/herself is when they experience
grave disappointment. Disappointment happens when the result is greatly unforeseen
considering the effort, time, money, et cetera a person has invested that it would normally
result to a favorable outcome. A person questions him/herself in this situation since he/she
was certain about his/her mindset, approach, and motivation from the start to the process,
until the outcome showed up bad or at its worst —because of the person’s emotional
engagement to the situation, he/she would be unsure of him/herself. Another situation is
that majority-of-this-generation’s great admiration to celebrities. Our generation has been
too inclined to showbiz nowadays to the point that they are copying their idols, not realizing
that the things they have been seeing are just the image of what the celebrities are wanting
to show. Like for example, some Filipino teenagers are imitating their Korean idols from
the language to the way they dress and act. This may force them to question their identity
in a sense that their deed does not have at least a little of resemblance to their original
nationality. How ironic that we are proud to say that we are Filipinos, but what our heart
wants are rather different. Another circumstance can be of great jealousy. We easily see
the achievement or happiness of other people, making us jealous that sometimes we
question ourselves or become too blinded to see our worth.
2. What forms do these questions about self-identity take?
Because of the aforementioned circumstances, a person tends to question about
his/her place, life, and most especially, his/her self. Huge disappointments can make a
person doubt his/her ability and too much of admiration and great jealousy can force a
person to question his/her own reality and/or identity. These questions can be “Why am I
like this?”, “What is wrong with me?”, “How can I improve myself?”, “What is the truth
about me?”, “How should I act?”, “What can I really do best?”, “What am I really good
Understanding the Self
Exercise 1
Ateneo de Naga University
First Semester S/Y 2019-20
Name/Section: Erica Joy B. Escopete
July 8, 2019
at?”, “Am I really like this?”, “Do I really like this?”, “Am I doing the right decision this
time?”, “Will I be able to make it?”, “What is ‘me’ and what is ‘not me’?”, and et cetera.
3. Based on survey of ideas, what answers are usually given to these questions?
In solitude, one can always genuinely reflect about something or find clear answers
to certain questions. The funny thing is, the hardest questions to answer are the ones that
are about ourselves, when it should be the easiest. For the questions that are listed in the
previous number, the answers for the ones about ability is usually about realization for
improvement, change, and positivity. But the answers regarding self-identity is mostly
inconsistent and requires deep thinking and reflection. The process of answering the
questions about self-identity is complex, but the answers are really powerful. Genuine
answers for such questions can make a person stronger in a sense that he/she knows
him/herself in a higher level, but shallow answers might make it more confusing or might
derail the person from knowing his/her worth or full potential. The answers can let the
person know the things that he/she is and is not, what he/she could be and could not be,
which are helpful and not in reaching his/her potential, what type of love he/she deserves
to get, what would make him/her happy, or anything that can unravel her identity from
inside and out. By having answers, a person can feel internal satisfaction.
4. On a personal level, what answer can you give about the search for the nature of self?
What makes us, human beings, different is that we are unique. We vary in a way
that we think or seek differently from each other. So, from a personal standpoint, the search
for the nature of the self should start with what we feel right and we think appropriate. It
does not matter whether we believe in Socrates that the soul is immortal, or in Plato’s bodyis-the-prison-of-the-soul idea, or Locke’s notion that the existence of our self is dependent
on our memory of it, because for me there is one aspect in which we are all the same —
we are driven by our self-satisfaction. We want do things that will make us happy. We help
other people, not mainly because we want them to be happy, but that we want to feel the
fulfillment of helping others. We want to help our parents, not only because they deserve
it, but also because they are our own family. That is our nature, we think that we are helping
others for their satisfaction but little do we know that we are only pleasing our self-interests.
Understanding the Self
Exercise 1
Name/Section: Erica Joy B. Escopete
Ateneo de Naga University
First Semester S/Y 2019-20
July 8, 2019
5. Which do you think applies better to you at this point in time? The Avocado view or the
Artichoke view?
Between the Avocado View and Artichoke View of human nature, what applies
better to me is the Artichoke View of human nature because I have always believed in
Sartre’s idea that existence precedes essence. I don’t quite believe that a human is
programmed or boxed by his essence, I believe we are more than that. According to Bus
Mitchell in the book, Roots of Wisdom: A Tapestry of Philosophical Traditions, the
Artichoke view says that the self is consisted of small pictures, making up a collage rather
than a single big image which enables it to adapt to changing realities in this world —
showing flexibility. Flexibility is what I need right now, especially in this unpredictable
and complicated world. I may add different layers every day or whenever I see fit. I may
not have a hard core but my different layer would mean improvement and adaptation. I
have a chance to be better and not repeat my mistakes.