go to

Transcultural Friendship: Our Political Future

Chapter Six: The Future Human

Section 8: Self-Awareness


 go to

Scottish Country Dance by Anne Mac Iver.



Self-awareness means "being in touch" with one's own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Contradicting the common-sense notion of ourselves as rational beings, Sigmund Freud helped establish the now generally accepted that we are aware of only the tip of the iceberg that is the totality of factors directing our behaviors. People vary a great deal on the extent of their self-awareness. People with authoritarian ethics, for example, need to block from consciousness unacceptable ideas and feelings. This blocking does not prevent such ideas and feelings from affecting action, however. Thus, such people have less understanding of their own motivations, and, therefore, less control over what they do.



An important aspect of self-awareness is recognizing and accepting responsibility for one's own ideas and feelings. Acceptance of such responsibility can lead to greater commitment to chosen goals. Failure to "own up to" one's ideas and feelings can lead to impaired commitment, and at worse, blaming others for one's own unproductive behavior. Such blaming makes conflict resolution very difficult.



Self-awareness is clearly tied to humanistic ethics and basic attitudes of self-acceptance and responsibility. Without self-awareness, one is prevented from really knowing who one is, and how one is like and unlike others. Thus, an accurate awareness of self is the foundation for all aspects of one's identity.







Book Contents

Transcultural Friendship: Our Political Future


<<Previous Chapter 5

The Emerging World Order

Chapter 6 Contents

The Future Human

Next Chapter 7>>

Education in Early Childhood

<Previous Section





Next Section>