This is part 2 of a 3 part series. Read part 1 here – Effigy.
I would espouse constant growth as a worthy goal to aspire towards in one’s life, but lately I have been given into thinking that growth is a corporate scheme. When you are encouraged by others to grow, what is really meant is to grow in a particular direction, into a pre-processed mould of a “valuable contributor to society”.
There is nothing wrong with that, since we all depend on each other whether we like it or not, and there are roles to fulfill for the common good. However, think for a second that each person is a bush and society a gardener. Then the gardener is so clumsy and heavy-handed that he ends up over-trimming and micro-managing.
The gardener is so focused on getting all the bushes into the exact cubic shape, that he forgets the fact that each bush is part of a different species, and also has a genetically unique identity. Similarly, each person has very real and very different individual traits and a unique identity waiting to be developed.
With so much of popular media now bringing us global news, we know that there are people fighting to make acceptance and tolerance the normal behavior, allowing more people to explore their natural individual traits – their interests, career choices, sexual orientation, choices in music etc. It’s easy to get caught up in the bad news, news of say, the backlash against LGBT rights in Russia, but one must realize that “good” actions suffer “bad” reactions, and vice-versa.
In the legislative world, even if one country takes two steps back for every one step taken forward by another country, we can rejoice in the one-step taken forward and fight with renewed vigour to continue walking. With enough steps forward, even the ones walking the wrong way will one day realize their mistake.
With an attitude that believes that things will get better, one can learn to make choices with confidence, and not be afraid to make choices that are beyond the cubic hedges of societal gardening. These choices can be honed into a lifestyle that is both emotionally fulfilling and physically and financially satisfying, and will also lead one to find people with similar interests and lifestyle choices. One can move to that part of the world that accepts and encourages their lifestyle – a little confidence, a little research and a little risk will lead to large rewards and a lot of contentment.
If you, the reader, are someone who is trying to develop your own unique identity, then know that there is some leeway within the current societal structure that allows you to do that. It is difficult, yes. It can be very,very difficult, but the world is so vast that you can find a place that accepts you for your individuality and can find use for your talents. What one needs most I believe is conviction. If you are convinced that you are of importance, then other people, and by extension society as a whole, will think so too.
You don’t have to be an extroverted, smiling, public speaker with lots of fame to be of importance. You don’t have to constantly appear in the news and be well-known to be of importance. By being steadfast in your beliefs, by being consistent in your actions, and by being considerate enough to coexist peacefully with others doing the same, you can stress your importance to the people in your life that matter.
You can start doing it today – make a choice to not be hateful and spiteful. Don’t hide behind a screen on the internet with a fake name, taking shots at other people. Do your own thing and let others do theirs. It’s hard to choose to do so, but the feeling of self-satisfaction is very much worth it, believe me. You will gain self-respect if you do this, and everything else in your life will become easier and more rewarding if you gain self-respect.
Thank you for reading. 🙂
This is part 2 of a 3 part series. Read part 3 here – Fallible.