“Don’t just be yourself. Be all of yourself. Don’t just live. Be that other thing connected to death. Be life.” – Joss Whedon
I watched a video today from the Jimmy Kimmel show. You may have seen it. People at the Coachella music festival were asked their thoughts on bands playing at the festival. The problem, though, was that the bands people were being asked about were made up. The folks at Jimmy Kimmel came up with goofy band names, asked people what they thought about them, and people responded as though they were fans of these bands and their music. Yeah, it’s pretty funny, but also a little sad. I think it’s indicative of a cultural phenomenon wherein people concern themselves more with what they are as opposed to who they are. It reminds me of a t-shirt I saw folks wearing a few years back. The slogan emblazoned on the front of the shirt read: “You laugh at me because I’m different. I laugh at you because you’re all the same.” Now, it should be noted that I dig individuality. The problem is, that t-shirt was mass-produced, which means that those laughing because everyone else is all the same are wearing the same t-shirt as thousands of other people, ironically making them exactly like a whole bunch of other people.
Individuality is a tricky thing. It’s tough to go against the grain. Specifically, in adolescence, it’s even tougher because of the social stigma that goes along with being “different”. I think we’ve all been guilty of going with the crowd at one point or another, even when we might know that it isn’t the right way. This is where it is important to really nail down the values that you believe to define your character. This is where it is also important to truly figure out who you are, and this includes your strengths as well as your weaknesses. Having this foundation of knowledge about yourself and your inner workings will help you to understand what is really important to you, what you’re willing to fight for, and what you’re willing to let fall by the wayside.
There is and will only ever be one you. Own that. Disregard norms that aren’t applicable to you. Let go of fears that disallow you from doing anything other than conforming.
Be all of yourself.
Have an awesome Thursday,