I'm watching the episode where Don Draper explains to his wife how he's actually Dick Whitman versus Don Draper. He still lies about people "mistaking" him for Don versus Dick. As in, he still is lying about how he became Don (he switched dog tags).
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People hold onto their identity so tightly sometimes that it becomes "real" to them. They decide to make one event in their lives a defining moment of who they really are. It helps them look at the world in a particular perspective...
Because we live in a world where our biggest problem is something like picking a particular orange juice, or scheduling a car wash, or choosing a fast food place for dinner, we need justification for our choices.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), we have way more choices than what was available in the '60s. What is your justification? Do you need one?