X-Message-Number: 11025
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: "Self-Esteem" and Identity
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 00:01:54 +1100 (EST)

Hi everyone!

I have been very skeptical of Ellis, Freud, and other such ever since I
began to look at how our brains actually work. And while "self-esteem" 
may certainly be important, talking about it as if it plays some central
role begs the question of just how it arises & when it is appropriate.

Mike Perry also comes up with a very interesting point. Some, perhaps
many, have their sense of identity bound up with conditions which only
will exist for a short time: such as those around them, their social
status, etc. This is not the only way we might see our identity, but
many people find it hard to conceive of themselves remaining the same
person without the social roles they presently inhabit.

And since our sense of identity is fundamental, I suspect that it would
be very hard to get such people out of that mode. Perhaps they are even
telling us that they doubt that they could adapt to any other situation
... a pity, because they too are people, but they could be right.

As for myself, I would expect to grow and change. I would be the same
person in exactly the sense that I am now, at age 55, the same as the boy
Tommy who once grew gourds in his backyard and played with them as if 
they were spaceships.

			Best and long long life,

				Thomas Donaldson

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