I once wrote a biography for English in my junior year of high school. Naturally, it wasn’t a very long story and maybe not even a good read, but it was interesting to make an effort to see my life as it might look from the outside, to an impartial observer. It took some years for me to finally figure out that, contrary to science journals and social experiments, there is no such thing as an impartial observer. Bias makes us human, and also interesting. We can relate to one another through our bias, or preferences. I might like Chinese and Mexican food but the thought of trying a certain Ethiopian crock pot recipe (again) makes me want to just pitch my slow cooker in the trash! Quirks and eccentricities are what give us all our unique personalities and our FLAVOR!
I remember desperately trying to be like everyone else when I was younger. I did everything I could (unsuccessfully, I might add) to dull down my differences, dumb down my vocabulary, and “normalize” my personality. I was miserable. It was only when I finally felt comfortable enough with myself (and I still struggle off and on with this) that I could be the unique person I was made to be.
The beauty of realizing this is that once you are finally, completely “you”, you can help others to discover the unique “them” they were meant to be, and they can do the same for others, and so on… The benefit we glean from this is enjoying ourselves and one another the way it was meant to be. The funny thing is that you and I cannot be as happy with ourselves and each other as when we finally get to this place. Now, to be clear here, I’m not talking about an out of body experience or “discovering the divinity within” or any other such tosh. Just like that lovely and delicate piece of stemware you may or may not have on your shelf (I have kids, guess where mine are), you aren’t just here by accident. You have a purpose and a loveliness that is unique to only you. There is a spot that is left empty when we waste our lives trying to be like everyone else…..ironically, if there are so many people doing this, exactly who are we trying to copy??