The ID insult

Most people have a name, are from someplace and have a certain origin.
I happen to be a man that found himself stuck between two passports, grew up with four languages, and three different countries constitute my place of origin. Not to mention the constant moving around most of the time.  
If you take a closer look at my name (plus adding Wiesenberg that is my birth name) I think is persuasion enough.

When you meet someone for the first time, it is normal that he will ask your name, and where it is you come from. That gives most of the time a first picture of who you are. You can take my word it never works on me, even if I wanted to. (Well unless someone insists and has… 20 minutes)

But who we truly are, has nothing to do with names, passports, origins and certainly not IDs. Nevertheless I have to carry, like everybody else, a number of IDs around with me, in order to prove my… existence.
One form of the bureaucracy monster is IDs!
And it has been fed so well, that it has become an insult to mankind…

The way we are all classified, categorized and listed, from the moment we are born to the day we die, is something that escapes us. But we don’t escape from it!

In the mid 70s I did travel to France for my first summer training.
But the “authorities” on the port of Marseilles did not let me through with my passport, ever though it was okay.
So, I pulled… the other one out of my backpack, telling to the man in the uniform something like “will this do?” The man opened his eyes wide and asked me “who are you?”
You see? At first I didn’t exist for him, he didn’t even look me in the eye and was about to send me back where I came from.
To make a long story short, I made it clear that if he wouldn’t let me through I would call… both of my embassies and let him deal with it!
All of a sudden he looked at me and I could tell from his stare that he thought I was… two people!
After that he turned his back and left, murmuring something that was… French!

The proof of who you are lies beyond the fact that you are just… standing right there. You got to have ID for every little sh.. and of course “sign here please”.
The number of IDs we have to put up with, are endless. At your school (but note: separately for each year or semester). For your credit card, driving license, insurance, passport, business, certificates, telephone company, electric services and… oh I almost forgot, your Aikido grades.

One might argue, saying that IDs are good for our own security, but is that really so? Because the first thing that the common crook or the brilliant thief will do, is fake their ID. And they do it so well, it has become an art.

The only true identity that could serve as recognition of a person, without offending him in any way, is his DNA. Because this is who we truly are!
DNA (at least for now) is the only thing that proves our unique being among everybody else on this planet.
And that includes all those who are born so far, from the human race, and all those that will follow. 
I guess it can’t get more personal than this! You can not fake it and it is you and only you.
On the other hand that same DNA proves our relation with our ancestors and all those who are our relatives, so it is a small map of our being along with our connection with other humans.
If you give it some thought, this is the perfect ID, this is saying who we truly are!

There is something though that could not elude my dark humor.
If DNA IDs would become standard for everyone, everywhere, there would be an outbreak of total chaos about who is who, and let me explain.
Most people assume that they truly know their natural parents, because they live under the same roof and share the same name on their… IDs.
And likewise most parents (especially of the male gender) assume their kids are their own.

So, if we have DNA IDs this is not going to look good, along with everything that will follow. And this everything is a lot! Like properties, wills, insurance, you name it…
Maybe that is why the only true ID of a person, that identifies a human as a real being, and not a name and number on a piece of paper or plastic, will remain for… crime scenes identifications.

The Samurai warriors would announce their name on the battlefield while challenging their opponent for the duel, and expected from their enemy to reply to that announcement, by introducing themselves in a similar manner.
Only then they would go on with their fight!
It was considered unthinkable rudeness not to announce and identify themselves, even if they where about to kill each other.
Today’s Aikido Dojo etiquette requires wearing your first name on your sleeve (or on the side of the hakama) and it is the best and only thing that one should wear!

To state your ID and who you are is of importance and for our security, but authorities, any authorities, should make sure that they are doing their jobs correctly (how about DNA passports) and act with the proper respect!
Citizens are not sheep!
As for me, I’m not rich, celebrity or VIP, but I’m about to issue a… third passport, only to see “authority’s” face turn green.

                                                                           I am a man from "...lots of different places”

July 23, 2006