Services that trace genealogy or determine one’s ethnicity through DNA are just the latest version of mankind’s enduring quest to know self in larger-than-self context. These are exercises in identification—that transformative step beyond relationship.

We each sense that we are more than the singularity who stares back from the mirror. So we look here, there, everywhere and what do we discover? Experiences of solidarity with others—as often found in family, fellowship circles, teams, community endeavors, and collaborative working partnerships—foster an esprit de corps that somehow makes us ‘more’. Once we identify with others, missing dimensions of a greater self appear. It turns out others are not as separate and apart from us as we are used to thinking. And the process of gathering in all these misappropriated parts of our very own self not only makes life a more gratifying adventure, it uproots judgment and grows appreciation in its place.

Humanity is a group enterprise (and a brilliant design). This sense of our greater self only being possible in a fuller embrace of our fellow has long defined our world view at Schmidt Associates and shaped the way we do business. It is a prime component of our legacy that continues to unfold. Isn’t that greater wholeness found in being “part of” just as much your legacy?

“Identity is an assemblage of constellations.”

—Anna Deavere Smith