Life is not easy. When one travels a narrow road, remaining true to themselves, remaining strong in who they are-worlds are changed.
There are many sayings about being yourself, everyone is an individual, we are all unique in our own way..however, being uniquely yourself is not always easy. It is also not always a good thing.
Take a class of say, twenty kindergarteners. You have a room full of young children, who are each and every one individuals, unique in their own right even though they are only around five years old. Still a bit young to expect to have long attention spans, but old enough to learn how to act properly in a classroom setting. The teacher needs for them to pay attention to her so that she may teach and they may learn. To have as many of these young minds to behave in a like manner makes her or his, job much easier. Most of these students may do just that, but as odds go, there is almost always going to be at least one that stands out. That one may have more energy, shorter attention spans, less ability to focus on the classroom work but sees everything else going on in the known universe. They may be frigidity, unable to remain seated for long. They may dress differently, laugh more loudly, be less mature than the others, or they may even be more intelligent and what is going on in the class bores them as they already know it. All it takes is for one other child to make a cruel remark and the one who is different suddenly becomes a target of all bad remarks. They may be ridiculed, teased, picked on mercilessly in a never ending manner that makes life difficult. It doesn’t get any better, often times growing worse as the child ages, simply because their tormentors have aged as well and know even worse names and ways of torment. Students may be ridiculed, tormented, harassed, even physically attacked. Today they may also find themselves under attack on the many social medias online and otherwise. There are no boundaries when it comes to being a bully.
It doesn’t stop with children and young adults. It can and often does follow a person through life. Especially if they develop a ‘why me’ attitude. They wrap that persecution, victim, low self esteem complex around them like a shroud and wear it well. If they never learn to see past the being a victim and learn how to use their uniqueness, they will always be the victim. Even those who try to quietly go about their life, bring as little attention to themselves as possible and simply ‘be’ can find themselves attacked. There may be a few from time to time who try to help, but not many out of fear of being the next target of attack.
The one thing that those who are different need to realize is that different doesn’t automatically mean bad or less. It simply means, different. And being different, can be a good thing-especially if one takes advantage of their difference.
An artist is a special individual. Whether they are musicians, actors, dancers, painters, writers, photographers and the list goes on..they see things that –normal– people miss. Musicians hear the songs in everything. They hear the notes in the bird song, hear the rhythm of the rain and the winds. Painters and photographers see the colors and details of life. They see the things others over look. The small details, the flowers emerging early or the winds blowing the specks of pollen across the cars, painting the windows with the dust. With proper recognition and understanding of one’s talents the individual can go far, because of their difference. They are the ones seeking new trails, finding great adventures, mapping the way and following the stars. They are the ones who create the next great inventions, build the roads, the bridges and cities that everyone said couldn’t be done. They are the ones discovering new stars and planets, building the rockets and telescopes to explore them. They are the ones who being outside the box, easily think outside the box able to imagine, create, discover and not be afraid to look for more and better.
They are the ones who entertain, who can become anyone or anything to bring the audience into their world even if only for a short time. They are the ones who should be envied, not ridiculed.
Being different, brings the pain of loneliness. When no one understands that what makes the unique one more creative is what sets them apart, they are ostracized. It is one of the causes for so many artists being drug users and abusers. It is one reason why so many drink heavily or act wildly. Trying as hard as they know how to try, to do something that will never happen. They will never fit in with the so called ‘normal’ people. Thinking maybe, if they could get in with them, then the ridicule and teasing; the avoiding and harassing would stop. The unique individual, the one who is different, will never fully fit in with a normal world being they are not normal. Yet, they are not abnormal. They are unique, they are special, they are different and should be proud of it. Rather than avoiding those with similar talents, joining with them would make each one stronger. It would show they are not alone, that others have the same talents and abilities.. or compliment theirs.
I wonder at times if those doing the harassing, if those teasing and tormenting.. are not in some way shape or form, jealous of the one who is different. The one brave enough, strong enough to be themselves. A six year old child may not necessarily understand jealousy and all that it means. They may not understand the word unique, special, different..they will fully understand being insulted and ridiculed, they will fully understand that they are not like the others around them while not realizing that they are not alone as there are others , who are in many ways, similar to them..who would enjoy their company …even if only for a short time.
laugh..at the little things
dance..as if no one is watching
believe in yourself no matter what