Identities up and sideways

Kids inherit their vertical identities-ethnicity,nationality,language,and, in some cases, cultural behaviors and religion—from their parents, writes Andrew Solomon in his book Far From the Tree.A child’s horizontal identity, however, is an inherent or acquired trait foreign to and often treated as a flaw by his or her parents, such as having a physical disability or being gay or a genius. The intersection of the identities comes, perhaps, when parents can ” look deep into their child’s eyes and see him in both ( themselves ) and something utterly strange,” Solomon observes.

Source: Reader’s Digest


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