Don’t be so loud.
Don’t chew your food like that.
Stop acting immature.
Get your head out of the clouds.
Why don’t you ever take anything seriously?
Suddenly, after the criticism of the world, you begin to feel inferior. You think, Maybe, if I act a little more normal, then I will have more friends. Maybe, I’ll become more successful.
Stop. Stop right there. Don’t let your thoughts spiral down the whirlwind of obeying those around you in order to conform to everyone else’s idea of normal. Too often, we try to feel validated by those around us. We want everyone to accept us so, rather than behaving like ourselves, we mold ourselves into these false, plastic versions of pretentious and copied people who act as though they were created on an assembly line. If everyone is too busy behaving how he or she thinks everyone else wants him or her to behave, then, really, nobody is original. Everyone is a copied and pasted version of someone else.
If everyone has the same likes and dislikes, interests and biases, then the world is gray, bleak, and it lacks originality.
Be atypical. Be the one who revolts against the norm. Be someone who speaks out against oppression, conformity, and an ill-formed society.
When you try to form your life around another person’s, your opinions become minute and your ambition is belittled for the sake of the other person’s well-being and state-of-mind. Why? Why must we feel the need to build up another person to keep him or her in our lives? If we must shave our own destinies in order to find other people in our futures, must we remain on the same track of the broken spirit and the belittled mind?
More than once, I’ve seen this happen in the lives of other people. We must build each other up rather than tear each other down, and we must do this by showing compassion and support. Rather being the people thirsting for the validation of others when we do not receive it, we need to allow others to feel validated in their most rare and pure forms. The movies they love, the hobbies they pick up, the ways they encounter struggles, and the ways they find ambition for their callings are the ways we influence our world. We bring light to the darkness and we bring splashes red and yellow to the gray canvas.
You may see the world in purple. Someone else may see it in violet. Then someone on the other side of the world may see through cerulean spectacles. We need to embrace change, embrace differences, and pick others up when they seek everlasting validation.
Lauren is a Ball State University alumna with a Bachelor's degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. She enjoys breakfast for dinner with a side of literary enjoyment.