Free to be You and Me?

Who are you? Who are you called to be? Who are you free to be?

Questions of individual identity are raging, and for understandable reasons. The results are understandable, too — even if, collectively, they’re not always as freeing as the journey into individual self-expression.

So much of our culture asks “Who are you?” So much of it rewards uniqueness. Nobody ever really became an Internet sensation by being “average” or “normal.”

But what if the real question is: “Who are you called to be in the context of us?” How would you express your identity then?

Would you really want to bring the culture of performative identity that thrives in social media “communities” (and upon which those communities thrive) into the in-real-life public square?

When you — all of you — join all of us, who bends who, and how much? Who do you need to become for us, and who do we need to become for you?

What might civility look and feel like if we relaxed the demand for conformity?