Both process unity and object unity are definitions, describing a living being from two different sides. While process unity comprises every event of our life, it is not our memories, but we are, created by situations and our emotions, thoughts and therefore actions, experience and conclusions. One can imagine a person as tabula rasa. We start moving according to our initial position and background here and there and change ourselves through our lifetime, where every event is a chain link in our personality.
This path is long and complicated, it has several stages, some of them we simply do not realize (especially in early childhood), some we can rule in order to change ourselves – and our lifeline. While getting experience we pattern ourselves on parents, environment. After the birth emotions are simple and selfish, children do not know any complicated reactions and possess any skills, but they learn to interact, to copy friends’ and parents’ behavior patterns. And still it does not mean that they become a copy of people they know, but a unique living being because of his or her special position and a compilation of genetic and acquired traits. Environment provides a person, tabula rasa, with necessary examples and tools of world and self- study. That is why we won’t be able to exist as thinking being without society. We are being created and developed by it; a person is like a branch of a big tree, it belongs to it and resembles other branches but still it is the only one.
Our own experience has a great importance to our following life as it influences our future, and our future events compose our process unity. Previous experience plays a role of a prophet as it drops a hint how to communicate, what to do and what is to come if you do. Rich experience helps to eliminate possible conflicts, lack of experience leads us to unknown situations where we are to decide, to chose, to get new emotions and thoughts for shaping our personality more thoroughly. And so we are tracing our path.
Communication with other people plays the leading role in this shaping. For example, school simply teaches facts and values. While schooling a person learns to interact by sharing and borrowing points of view, hobbies and habits. It does not only make you remember values you must know, but get wise to and appreciate them due to situations you come across. Communication teaches to compare ourselves with others, therefore analyze different characters.
We don’t only look at people to judge them, but are always asking questions whether we want to be like them or not. Being adopted, I know little of my genetic makeup or the objects that shaped my physical characteristics. Viewing object unity as Rose defines it, the one physical characteristic I can point to is being much shorter than the rest of my family. But I can relate far more to process unity, as the relationships in my life have had a far greater impact on making me who I am. My interaction with my mother helped to teach me creativity and patience. My interaction with my father helped to teach me to work hard and not accept being as good as anyone else. He taught me to always be better. We develop this or that way depending on people we meet and experience we get.
No communication at all means no changes in our personality while good communication provides us with examples of good and bad, of what we desire to be, what we desire to have, what we never want to happen on. Such an experience makes us not only to move in a certain direction (if we speak about company, friends and material things), but change our characters. We must have sources and examples of different human behavior, personality and values in order to identify ourselves. One’s personality is often interpreted by those we interact with, the person has their own vision of their personality, called self concept, which may or may not be the same has how others view us (Consumer Buying Behavior).
According to this, it is possible to assert that our mind becomes a unique organism with its rules of perceptions and reactions.
This statement leaves no doubt that two living beings could be similar. But at the same time object unity means that all the people have something common not only because of their physical affinity but because being humans and possessing similar ways of their reactions – perceiving, thinking, remembering, imagining. They do not depend on experience or personality. Object unity is a kind of a link that helps us to understand each other, no matter how different we are in our identity, it’s just because our brain has some properties that are common for all the people.
According to the definition of object unity, we can count on a universal system of well-known for a certain society symbols and interactions one can use. (It is a pity that in our consumer society this perception is greatly contracted, for instance, to simple logical chains “he has a car – he is rich”, “he drinks – he is unhappy” or “she is beautiful – she wants to marry a rich man”. We forget to keep in mind process unity that means that a person is much more than simply an image).
These two definitions may seem to contradict each other, because the first one proves an absolute originality of a person and the other insists on some identical methods of thinking. Linking each of two these definitions with mass culture one can draw two extremely different conclusions. Either different people can be affected in the same way, because they have the same perception by default, or they cannot, because the methods of perceptions range from personality.
I guess we definitely can draw a line between two definitions. We know about colors influence us. Red energizes and can be used in advertisement to attract our attention. That is object unity. But using red doesn’t guarantee success. People are different, some like this color, some tired of it, so, no matter what the influence is, the reaction will be different. That is process unity. One person may be able to focus very strongly on a certain advertisement and be able to retain the information after being exposed only one time while another person may need to be exposed to the same advertisement many times before he/she even recognizes what it is (Consumer Buying Behavior).
Surely, we can be divided into several groups according to our tastes, and consumer society did it. It has two sides. On the one hand, it helps to satisfy every our need. On the other, it simplifies human perception by developing a universal symbol system and doesn’t look at individuality; it produces goods for an average person and identity turns out to be replaced by these symbols.
Yet our society has certain advantages, for instance, external similarity makes an illusionary impression of understanding other people and being understood, no matter that thinking processes may be different. But if we concentrate only on external side soon we will realize that we are miserable and unhappy, because we have nothing inside us and aren’t able to interact with people on higher levels. Consumer society encourages financial aspiration and enslaves weak people who want to be fashionable. It requires being rich and beautiful and children grow up thinking that to be happy means to have status symbols and keep up appearances. They are rarely interested in skills and values they should have. It doesn’t mean that we mustn’t care about our appearance; it should be connected with our true personality.
Nowadays we seldom look at a complicated pattern of identity. Moreover, we try to judge people by their appearance and it seems to be productive, because we have enough knowledge about this symbol system. We can say something about taste, fashion, self-confidence, prosperity, work and even hobbies or character. It’s convenient while we won’t be able to take each other for unique in everyday communication. But looking only at an image we shouldn’t forget that personality can be shown quite poorly because of business suit.
When I shop, I buy very expensive clothes. When looking for a car, I could simply have bought a Hyundai and saved a lot of money. Instead, I chose to buy a Mercedes. I am single and have no need for a 3000 square foot home. But when people visit, I want them to be impressed. All of these material items were purchased based on the reaction I would receive from society.
But, I would like to think I am more than just materialistic. My self-identity comes from people that have had positive effects on me. Had I not been influenced by my father, I wouldn’t possess the work ethic I have today. Had my mother not taught music to me, I would lack creativity. So, my identity isn’t simply what I wear. Nor is it what I possess on the inside. Combined, though, they make me who I am.
That is the idea one should constantly keep in mind. We should be judged on our things as well as on our actings. As it is impossible to follow a person everywhere or to read his or her thoughts in order to find out that we are really different, one can simply remember that the people we meet are not only typical images in our consumer society. They are the same unique as we are in the way of feeling and thinking.
Consumer Buying Behavior. 20 Nov. 2008. 7 Apr. 2009. <http://www.knowthis.com/tutorials/principles-of-marketing/consumer-buying-behavior.htm>