Andrew Solomon faced severe bullying growing up because of his dyslexia and homosexuality, leading him on a lifelong exploration of identity and meaning. He divides our identity into two categories – “vertical identity,” which are aspects inherited from parents, and “horizontal identity,” which includes traits that are different from family.
Vertical identities are usually seen as acceptable, while horizontal ones are often treated as flaws; i.e., “black sheep” traits.But it was Solomon’s horizontal identity that helped him forge a meaningful life. Here are some insights from his 2014 TED Talk on how your horizontal identity can be used to “forge meaning and build identity”:Start With a Personal Narrative of TriumphAll your experiences
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