Hi, need to submit a 500 words paper on the topic What are the sources of my identity. What are the sources of my identity? A person’s identity is a combination of both nature and nurture. What religion a person is born with, what nationality he acquires, and later on what company he stays in, everything plays its part in forming the person’s identity. Everything that a person goes through in life becomes a source of the formation of his identity. In this paper, I will elaborate upon the sources of my identity, and how those sources helped me in becoming a better person that I am today. First of all, I want to highlight the beautiful fact that I am a Muslim by birth. I was born in a Muslim family in Saudi Arabia, and this fact is the greatest source that formed my identity in the first place. My religion formed the foundation of what I am today. I am a representative of Islam, and I have been able to merge the teachings of my Lord and His Messenger with the good values my parents have taught me. I am proud to state here that I have been blessed with the best parents in the world, who have equipped me with the teachings of the Almighty and His Messenger with great detail and clarification. These teachings have helped form my heart in such a way that, now, I feel pain for humanity. I am sympathetic toward the poor, the needy, and the hungry ones. I am truthful and honest. I keep my promises, and am humble. These qualities have come first from my religion, and secondly from my parents. I love people who indulge themselves in labor and hard work, just as Marge Piercy (n.d., stanza 3) writes: I want to be with people who submerge in the task, who go into the fields to harvest and work in a row and pass the bags along, who are not parlor generals and field deserters but move in a common rhythm when the food must come in or the fire be put out. Apart from these basic sources, the culture of Saudi Arabia has also played a great role in making me a better person. I have been able to practice out the teachings of Islam in a true manner in Saudi Arabian culture. Apart from Saudi Arabia, I have been travelling a lot in my life. I have lived in England, Manchester, and live in Denver now. This explains the fact that I have been meeting a lot of people while travelling and settling down, and that has helped me understand different people and their cultures. I have met a lot of people with many different cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, and thus, I have been able to gain respect for diverse cultures and religions. I have been able to respect every human being no matter which religion or region of the world he belongs to. This has also become a great source in the formation of my own identity, since I have been able to polish my Islamic and parental teachings with my experience of meeting different people in my life. This source has opened my mind, so much so that I have become more compassionate and humble in my own self. I have become like Annie Dillard’s weasel in my identity. Dillard’s weasel lives in present, and does not care about the future. Dillard (n.d., para.14) writes: The weasel lives in necessity and we live in choice, hating necessity and dying at the last ignobly in its talons. I would like to live as I should, as the weasel lives as he should. And I suspect that for me the way is like the weasel’s: open to time and death painlessly, noticing everything, remembering nothing, choosing the given with a fierce and pointed will. My sources have made me live in the present and become carefree about the worries of tomorrow. Like the weasel, I have started concentrating upon what is happening to me and around me at present, without concern to what I will eat tomorrow, or from where my bread and butter arrive five years from now. I feel much satisfied and contented with what I have. I do not have greed or lust for possessions any more. Hence, I have started living like weasels, which are much better than most of the humans that dwell the earth today. To conclude, the sources of my identity have made me a much better and refined person. Thanks to my religion, my culture, the teachings of my parents, and my experiences during travelling, I have been able to grasp a better understanding of the world and its people. All of these sources have opened my mind by shaping my identity. References Dillard, A. (n.d.). Living Like Weasels. Retrieved March 19, 2013, from http://www.courses.vcu.edu/ENG200-lad/dillard.htm Piercy, M. (n.d.). To be of use. Poemhunter.com. Retrieved March 19, 2013, from http://www.poemhunter.