Have the courage to be different without being contrary — without flaunting your independence. The quality that makes us interesting, that makes us outstanding personalities, is the courage to be ourselves.
It would seem that we live in an age of non-conformity. With dozens of movements and philosophies — new and old — emerging into mainstream culture daily it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer variety of differing beliefs and mindsets. Yet oftentimes these lime-lit movements gain an impressive following. Soon everyone — from your grocery store clerk to your congressman — subscribes to this or that, and dismissal seems the only viable option.
Dismiss their beliefs. Dismiss belief in general. Where could it be warmer, where could it be cozier, where could you feel safer than in this deep abyss of ignorance? It’s comfortable here.
The abyss not for you? Pick one at random. Or better yet do a quick online search, you’ll definitely learn all you need to know. Conformity is better than dismissal, right?
How about option number three: consider your own beliefs.
It’s not easy. Some ideologies are designed to be catchy, to grab your attention and sound entirely sensible. Friends, family, colleagues all recommending one or the other — burying you beneath a mountain of points and counter-points. How is this different from the above? Wouldn’t it be better to simply pick a belief and be done, even if that belief is no belief?
Everyone has ideas. Whether they’re good or bad isn’t for others to decide. The interesting man is not the man who subscribes to a belief or opinion or ideology, but the man who listens, thinks, constructs his ideas. He learns and examines, and above all he musters the courage to search through his being and discover both the sort of person he is as well as the sort of person he wishes to be. And when he finds that self he has the courage to bare it to the world. He expresses that self and allows his true beliefs to manifest — whether they be entirely out of the norm or seemingly ordinary.
Life is grand, and far grander when we have the courage to share ourselves. Not flaunting our personalities, but rather expressing our beliefs and interests with modesty and consideration. Not falling into the trap of not caring what others think — the scorn of other human beings with free thought and opinion is hurtful — but admitting that we do and heroically continuing to bare our selves in spite of it.
Have the courage to express that outstanding personality from deep within. Have the courage to be your self.
Photo Source: flickr.com/photos/dalbera