Saturday, May 7, 2011


My wife was at a Mess Dinner last night and she heard something odd that she decided to share with me.

During the various toasts, someone got up and wanted to pay honour to the female officers there. He said how wonderful it was that they in the Air Force treated women specially. After that, one of the female officers got up and said that if she had to be treated specially, then she didn't want to be there. She said that she was an officer first, and a woman second. She wanted to be treated the same as the guys.

Finally a third guy got up and said that this was the ideal. Everyone should be given the opportunity to fulfill their goals.

While Marielle was telling me this, something occurred to me. How would I order the different aspects of my own life?

I remember a number of years ago this question came up at a Baha'i gathering, and someone put forth the idea that they were a Baha'i before anything else. "Even before human?" "Yes, even before that."

This little exchange stuck with me, and I wondered at it for quite some time.

This morning, as Marielle was telling me about the dinner last night, I realized how I would order these different things. But I'm curious: How would you prioritize the different aspects of your life?

Let's look at some of these categories, in alphabetical order:

1. Career
2. Ethinicity
3. Family
4. Gender
5. Hobbies
6. Human
7. Illness
8. Religion
9. Sexual Orientation

There are, of course, many other categories you can add, so feel free. But the main question is: How would rate them, in terms of importance?

Just so that I don't bias you according to my own thoughts, I'll express them tomorrow in another article.


  1. I think it depends how you prioritize; in terms of prioritizing myself in terms of what I think my reality is, I think I would say I am
    male (gender),
    Caucasian (ethnicity),
    healthy (illness),
    sexual orientation.

    Ed Dufort

    But if I prioritize according to my aspirations
    I'd say

  2. There's no end of things you could prioritise. Nationality could easily be added to the list. But you just end up making false choices. If you have to choose career over ethnicity, then there's probably something wrong with your carer, or the way you view it.

    Some aspects of one identity will be incompatible with another identity. A Maori Bahai who dies far from home may not be able to be transported back to the family urupa. But the idea that one identity trumps another is bullshit. That's strong language, but I'm asserting my kiwi identity. :-)

    My rule of thumb: If you are forced to choose between two identities, choose the one that doesn't exclude the other.