I suppose my most recent shopping expedition is the catalyst for my current musings regarding originality. I was searching for a new black blouse, a very simple item in my mind. However, after looking at literally thousands of offerings over the last several months on so many different websites and searching the local stores, I have come up empty-handed. What I have pretty much learned is that if I want anything, being it this blouse, or just about any other item, is that unless it is one of a very limited number of current styles, I am out of luck.
Maybe part of my own originality is that I believe that if you want to make a difference for yourself or anyone else, you have to believe in yourself and know that if you pursue your dreams and put in the work necessary, you can achieve any goal that you wish.
This precipitated my taking a look at many other things around me. I am a real TV lover and I started to look at the programming being offered. The more that I looked for something new and different, the more I kept finding the same shows with a slightly different approach. I saw the same things with the movies and in politics and in the conversations with family and friends and co-workers. The most important theme that I saw repeated in just about every arena that I explored was that being an individual, being different, being unique and allowing that uniqueness to show was not acceptable. Most people, in all areas of their lives, put the greatest emphasis on being part of the crowd, supported the beliefs of those with whom they chose to associate and found it most important to dress like everyone else and frequent those places where they looked like everyone around them.
How sad! Each of us is so unique and has so much to offer as the person that we are. Why do we give away our power and uniqueness to a mob mentality? Why are we so afraid to be ourselves, to embrace our individuality? Why are we so afraid to have our own beliefs while still being willing to listen to those of others? Why do we choose to believe all of those things that were taught to us? Why do we refuse to stand on our own two feet? I think that the answer is pretty clear. It is easier to go along with everyone else rather than to stand alone. After all, what will other people say if we think differently, believe differently, act differently and do differently?
Well, I know that I have had enough of the mediocrity that has been generated by such group behavior. I am different than anyone else. So what? Everyone else is uniquely different, too. I have my own way of thinking and of seeing things? So does everyone else based upon their upbringing and life experiences. Does that mean that I can’t have my own points of view and ideas that might be worth considering? That would be saying that I have never had a great idea and never will. I want to make a difference for others in a positive way but how can I do that if I am afraid to share my ideas for fear that others won’t like them? And if I do share and others don’t embrace those ideas, does that mean that I should give up? I just can’t do that.
Maybe part of my own originality is that I believe that if you want to make a difference for yourself or anyone else, you have to believe in yourself and know that if you pursue your dreams and put in the work necessary, you can achieve any goal that you wish. I need to embrace my originality as I never have done before if I want to achieve my goals. Of course, I do realize that I can’t do everything by myself but if I can’t find others who share my goals or don’t see the visions that I have, then I need to find others who do or find a different way of approaching the goals. And I will succeed. I know that my uniqueness can bring positive help and hope to others and I will find the ways to make that happen. Otherwise, all of the personal experiences that I have had and all the things that I have learned along the way will have been for nothing. What a waste that would be.
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Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.