In the movie "Fiddler on the Roof", in the opening scenes, Tevye says, “But it’s a tradition. And because of our traditions, every one of us knows who he is and what God expects him to do.”
There are two questions which can drive someone insane, even to suicide.
Who am I?
What am I expected to do?
The answers to these questions are impoertant to a sense of direction in life which in turn leads to a sense of contentment and happiness. Nothing is as debilitating in life as uncertainty.
It's not enough to answer these questions personally. We feel an innate sense of belonging, and can only belong with others who have answered these questions in a similar way. This then gives us a collective sense of identity.
Importantly, it also answers the more fundamental questions of "Who are we" and "What are we expected to do".
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