What does my ID say about me?

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Hello, stranger. Or friend. Whoever is reading this.

I am afraid these days. My adventure began a year ago, and here I am. Not much smarter than before, but I definitely made a lot of experiences. I met interesting people and stupid ones. (Not saying one excludes the other)

One question I heard a lot in the last year was “Do all Germans like/do/have/….[insert random stereotype here]?”

So, I want you to do something. Get out your ID. Look at it and think what it says about you. It is only a piece of plastic with some letters and probably a bad picture on it. Yet it determines a lot of things.

It gives you the rights and privileges of living in the country that issued your ID, it makes it possible for you to travel and possibly makes it possible to buy alcohol. It may make people hateful towards you, it may make you interesting to them.

The nationality itself is printed on it. People will assume that I like beer, blasmusik and the Oktoverfest because I was born in Munich – even though I may hate all of it. They will say I am efficient even though I may be the laziest and most unorganized person on earth. Can this little credit card really tell you that much about me?

In some, if not many, countries people will suffer because there is a “F” instead of a “M” in the column for “sex”. Women are not allowed to vote, drive or leave the house alone in some states. Moreover, it will raise expectations on how you look, dress and behave. A “M” makes it socially unacceptable to wear a skirt or dress in public.

Do we want a little piece of plastic to get so much into our personal space, influence our choices? I don’t think so, and hope this helps you think about the role of that little letter. Germany is the first European country that finally stopped this random assignment of expectations by introducing a “undefined” option.

Don’t let your ID define you. Don’t define others by what you read on their ID. The only way to know a person is to talk to them.

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Was Hitler a nice guy? or Curing things that are not to be cured.

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It happened again – you were at a party and you see who your friends are on the photographs.

But what was the deepest conversation you ever had? How hard would it be for the average shrink to tear you all apart? You share hobbies, tastes in music and maybe some political views. Maybe you just started talking while making fun of someone, maybe you wore some clothes that made the other one interested and then somehow you became friends.

And before you know it, you are close. You have feelings for one another. This happens so fast that it scares me at times. I mean, do I really want to become friends with someone just because they are vegetarians? How much does this say about our compability? I know, you have to start on some common ground – or a controverse where both of you discuss respectfully.

But there is a limit. Serious issues that move you a lot are quite personal. So if people attack your statements you make on these topics, it makes you feel attacked in your personality. The world is made of many different opinions and of course nobody will ever agree 100% – but does that mean we have to accept everything we hear of someone else? The YouTuber MrRepzion made a real interesting video on this.

We live in a free world and therefore I do not have to tolerate or even accept your point of view. Especially if we are friends I will care about convincing you that my view is the right one – or experience why you see it differently. I mean, there is a reason for the things I do – so we should talk about it. It is not shoving my opinion up one’s throat – it is discussion and exchange of information. I will tell you why I like the Big Bang Theory, why I became a vegetarian or why I fight for equal rights regardless of sex(uality). And if you disagree, I want to know why. If your reason is just “it has always been like that” or, even worse,you have read it in a 2000 year old book, I just can’t consider you a reasonable discussion partner. I know that I can’t change your taste in TV series – but especially when it comes to the other two it is important for me that – as a friend – you understand and kind of agree.Because otherwise you might be an asshole.

Of course I will try to convince you – because I try to be the best person I can and therefore consider my choices as the right ones. OF COURSE I will be shocked if you say something that goes completely agains everything I believe in. And then I will consider whether we want to, or can stay friends.

I will try to illustrate my point with an example. Joopi Heesters said: Hitler was a nice person – I mean, he was nice to me. This, obviously, caused quite some upstir in the media.

Can we completely ignore something that is so bothersome about a human being? Is that a double standard? I mean, I don’t only want to hang out with the people who are like me. Whoever said opposites attract. But I don’t want to share my cookies with racists or other criminals either.

Looks like a very human dilemma.