Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, November 11, 2005
"The basic or most important part; the essence"
One of the biggest surprises to me in raising our six children is that each
child is unique. Kids just come that way. Each Dixon child entered this world
possessing a unique Core Identity – the essence of who he or she is.
Then, as each child grew, other differentiating attributes became apparent.
We have one daughter who plans meals for her family a month in advance, while
her brother is so disorganized that I’m sure he’d lose his head if it wasn’t
attached. We have social butterflies and mathematical wizards, athletes and
couch potatoes, all growing up under the same roof. (And they’re all great!)
The bedrock premise upon which the Identity Map rests is that each person in
this world is absolutely unique. Unique fingerprints and DNA signatures are
evidence of this fact. At birth, each child enters this world as a unique person,
having inherited a unique physical body with genetic characteristics inherited
from his or her parents. Even identical twins are unique. Their DNA is the same,
but each has different fingerprints.
Some unique characteristics (e.g. DNA signature, footprint) are immediately
measureable at birth. Other observable characteristics, including size and weight,
will quickly change. Names will be given. Locations will vary. Certain relationships
(e.g. mother-daughter) are in place at birth; others will develop as the child
grows. Attributes such as knowledge, experience, roles and reputation, emerge
and expand over time. Each attribute further clarifies the uniqueness of each
Attempts to mask uniqueness fail to undermine the fact that each person is
unique. George Foreman can name each of his five sons "George," but
each son is different from his siblings. Private schools can a mandate uniform
dress standard, but each student is still inherently unique. Even when one person
tries to assume another’s identity, the thief only steals attributes representing
the core identity, not the identity itself.
Physical Identities or Digital Identities are mere symbolic representations
of Core Identities. The challenge is to make sure a Physical Identity or Digital
Identity is linked to or represents the the correct Core Identity.