Published: 27th February 2021
Here's why you shouldn’t piggyback on your famous relatives’ identity
The Coach tells us why you shouldn’t piggyback on your famous relatives’ identity a la Meena Harris and why it can be dangerous
Do you know who I am?” said the egotistically challenged individual when confronted with a conflict, to which a smart one replied, “When you have no idea WHO YOU ARE, how can you expect others around you to?”
Nope, I’ve not forayed into storytelling, I’m just setting the tone of today’s column. But before I get there, I just want you all to recall how many times you’ve either seen, heard, or experienced this situation wherein a person tries to dominate or flaunt his authority? There might have been instances wherein you too might have done the same. What’s worse is using the name of someone else, using their IDENTITY or AFFILIATION to take undue advantage. The White House recently asked the niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, to stop using the VP’s name to build her brand. The White House emphasised it being UNETHICAL.
Unethical or not, one of the main reasons why it is self-destructive to use someone else’s name to take advantage of people or situations is how devastating the end result is. The day when that just doesn’t work might be because that person might no longer be in power, have the same authority as before, has retired, or simply has been entangled in some controversy. Forget not having clout, but if an individual PIGGY BACKS on someone else’s name, they too will suffer the consequences of the blowback. I might sound a little rash as I say this, but it is as good as IDENTITY THEFT as your own identity is becoming totally INSIGNIFICANT when you’re using someone else’s name for everything.
It’s not just about ethics or morals, this has a lot of repercussions on the PSYCHE too. Here are the main three aspects that one needs to understand:
1. Projected Identity
People who use someone else’s identity often tend to project themselves as something that they’re not. Life not only becomes pretentious, but it becomes very hard to keep one’s own identity alive. In most cases, an individual is forced to create a different persona just to match the characteristics of the person whom he or she tends to piggyback on.
2. No identity
Let’s take Meena Harris’ case, for example. She will always be known as Kamala Harris’ niece and not many will refer to Meena Harris first and then say that she’s the niece of the Vice President. Meena Harris actually is a NOBODY if for her aunt. She might have built a brand using her aunt today, but it was at the expense of the hard work, efforts, and success of her aunt and not her own.
3. Unwanted Identity
I have seen this happening with my own eyes, especially with those who are politically connected. If the person whose name they’ve been using all these days gets entangled in some controversy, their own identity is PERMANENTLY SET IN STONE. It’s almost impossible to make people look at WHO THEY ARE but will always be looked at what they portrayed to be. One scam and the identity of being a scamster’s aide is set in stone irrespective of whether the individual was involved or not!
The only question that I ask you to ask yourselves is “Do I really need to use someone else’s name to get things done” or “Will I strive towards making a name for myself?” The choice is yours.
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj