Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Afraid of being different

It takes a lot of courage to be different. Very few people ask themselves: Why should I be like everyone else? Why should I do what everyone else does? As far as I know, we are the most evolved species on earth, but some of us never take interest in such questions. And even fewer succeed to distinguish themselves by thinking differently or doing something unique. Most people are too comfortable in their choice of following certain patterns in life and enjoy acting as if they were part of a herd of animals. Social rules and prejudices transformed us into millions of copycats. For example: we all have to dress in a certain way in order to be accepted in society, we all have to be baptized into a specific religion, we all have to get vaccinated at a certain age, we all have to buy an apartment and get married by the age of 30, etc. Every day we act like robots, not even realizing how ridiculous and boring we really are.

The human brain allows listening to and considering other people’s opinions but is perfectly able to create personal ones. We are absolutely capable of acting and thinking in our own way. Unfortunately we don’t. Perhaps doing what everyone else does and embracing others’ opinions as our own is the easiest way to go through life. It’s also very common to judge and despise fellows who display powerful personalities by going against social conventions. We never appreciate their courage and boldness. They are “outsiders” and “freaks” just because they are different.

Defined as complex and fascinating, the human being tends to resemble animals, rather than aspire to a higher level of intelligence, simply because being unique involves originality, individualization and crossing “borders”, which is beyond most people’s effort and acceptance. Before taking any decision in life we usually consider what others might say: family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. It is true, by adopting their beliefs we very often avoid awkwardness, disputes, and gossip. But choosing to go with the flow and refusing to take into account the options does not lead to evolution.

Yes, it takes a lot of courage to be different. People are not brave enough to accept the challenge of shaping their own individual personalities and looking at life from a subjective perspective. We are too busy worrying that the pack of wolves we are part of might not actually approve of our choice. So what?
Being unique is so refreshing, rewarding and uplifting. And SO HUMAN.