There are many aspects that are apart of developing a person’s identity and sense of who they are. We are fully responsible for the outcome of our life according to Sarte. There are no excuses in life and we are responsible for our successes and for our failures. Whether we choose to sit back and wait for whatever to happen around us or take action and try to go out and make the changes you want in your life, you are responsible for all the lows and the highs. Our values are formed from the decisions we make, which help us form our identity. The decisions you make in life have an impact on you’re happiness. This can be through making a difference in the world or finding love or having a successful career.
In “Existentialism is a Humanism”, Sarte explains how humans do not have a point. He states that existence precedes essence, which means we create are own human identity. There is no greater purpose for us and no pre-determined plan therefore it is our own job to define ourselves. As Sarte puts it, “Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself”(Sarte). It is a scary thought to think that we are entirely responsible for what we make of ourselves and for our existence. That is why we must make our decisions based off of what it is best for us in order to define our human identity. For example, in “The Death of the Profane” Williams tells her story as an African American woman outraged by her mistreatment due to her race and instead of standing aside she uses her rage to try to make a change.
Williams was struck by rage after being denied to enter a store from a white male when the store was still open. Instead of acting out on her rage in a negative way she went home and wrote an informative essay for Excluded Voices telling the story. When she received her edits all reference to the store had been deleted as well as reference to her race. Which completely changed the importance and rawness of the story. Williams retold her story to the court letting it be heard and discussed the issue of race as a whole. “It is thus that I strongly believe in the efficacy of programs and paradigms like affirmative action”(193, Williams). Williams acted out on her rage but in a positive way, making a change for her and others. Later her story was published in the paper. Williams’s actions helped form her identity and give the sense that she is a strong woman with strong beliefs. There are other things that can form your identity as well such as falling in love.
Thomas Merton claims “Love is, in fact, an intensification of life, a completeness, a fullness, a wholeness of life”(214, Merton). Love gives us more of a sense of meaning of life. Love defines who we are and we find the true meaning of life through the happiness of being with someone else. As Sarte...