Thursday, May 13, 2010

Individuality

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde

So many times we feel like we are put into stereotypes by others that stifle our individuality. As we age and begin raising children, we encourage them to be themselves with respect to rules, morals, religion, etc. as many of us ourselves were taught to do. But all the while we push ourselves into a stereotype while trying to help everyone else nurture their differences. We find ourselves standing at the sink, sitting at a red light, in the middle of a commercial break thinking “Who in the world am I?”

We have to remember that all of us, young and old have a different set of eyes, views, opinions and personalities to bring to the table. We cannot try to do as others would have us do, but only do as God would have us do. This goes for who we do and don’t speak to (and how we speak to them), where we work, how we dress and conduct ourselves just to name a few areas.

We shouldn’t ever take it upon ourselves to give someone our opinion of them in the hopes that it will change their individuality if the thing we’re speaking on is not a sin or damaging but instead something that just makes us uncomfortable. If we are uncomfortable with something, we need to ask ourselves why it is bothering us….not try to change the other person. What works for us may not work for someone else, and what works for them may not work for us.

The reason that people get along is that they don’t find people exactly like them; they just find people who have similar interests, lifestyles, and patterns. The little things that make them different are what fuel their individuality. We need to embrace others’ individuality, but instead of asking “Who in the world am I?” we need to figure out and accept who we are and be comfortable with it. Others will like us for the things that make us different from them. God made each of us differently and the worst way to live is within the boundaries of a stereotype that is not true of you. You will find yourself miserable and lonely, disliking people for the simple fact that they are trying to change you, even if they mean well (in their own minds) in doing so. We shouldn’t let stereotypes put on us deter us from the plan God has for us. Remember, stereotypes don’t determine who we are…God already did that.