When I am introduced to someone I have not yet met, I am often introduced as “this is Wade McKittrick, he’s the superintendent at Wabasso Public School.”

While I am exceptionally proud of this role, I often downplay that as an introduction, unless I am in a work appropriate setting.

Why do I downplay this?

For the simple reason that I am much more than the role I play at work.

In the society we live in today we tend to place people in boxes. Whether it is their job, their religious affiliation, race, gender, political affiliation, economic status, etc., people are looked at through a primary lens, or box.

A trend we are also seeing in society is people placing themselves in one of these boxes. Why is this? Why do people box themselves in and place their value based on one role they play in society?

I am not an expert in psychology, sociology or brain research; however life experience is suggesting to me we are facing an identity crisis in the United States.

Do we know who we are? Do we know what we stand for? Do we know what we truly believe? What are our values?

Answers to these questions can be life changing. Identifying and understanding yourself prevents others from putting you in a box and thrusting their values upon you.

Individuals who do not have clear answers for the above questions may struggle with their identity and flounder as opposed to the clarity one who has answers to these questions may experience.

When conflict or crisis arises people without answers to these questions may lack the foundation it requires to stand against peer and/or social pressures, whereas people with answers have a map to guide their decision making.

Who are you? What do you stand for? What are your values?

A clear understanding of these questions is the beginning of clearly understanding your identity as a person.

I want people who know me to be able to see that I am more than a school superintendent; rather I want them to see me as a husband, father, Christian, American and man of clear principle.

I want my daily life to reflect the values that I have and guide my life and decision making; in essence, create my identity.

What do you want people to see as your identity?

It all starts with you understanding it first.