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Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Thinking For Oneself

In talking to a friend recently, she made a comment regarding the difficulty of being taught to think for yourself and be an individual. She said that it is both one of the greatest gifts to be given and one of the hardest burdens to hold at the same time. I totally agree with her. I sometimes wish I could just go along with the crowd, accepting what everyone tells me I should think, doing what everyone says I should do. Maybe life would be easier that way - but maybe not. When you try so hard to fit in, I think you often feel as if you will never live up to whatever standard you are striving to emulate. So is it better to be an individual or better to not be? I think that in striving to be an individual you often find out who you are more clearly than someone who tries to fit in. But the problem with that is that you often figure out that you are not like others, and that can be extremely lonely. When you try to fit in, you will find yourself surrounded by others who think similarly to you, and hold similar thoughts as yourself. But you might also find yourself to be hollow, and devoid of an opinion of your own, of a knowledge of who you really are. And when the tide turns, you better be ready to turn with it, or else all the effort exerted in fitting in has been wasted. I see people who try incredbly hard to fit into a group or situation that is not really who they are, it is simply who they feel they should be, and this ends up being a great source of frustration. Can you have both? Can you both be an individual and find a place to fit in? I don't know. I hope that those who choose to be individuals, even if they don't ever feel like they fit in, can at least find a group of people to surround them who support them in their efforts to be true to themselves, even if those efforts are not the popular route. And I hope those who do strive to fit in feel they are at the same time being honest about who they are. I don't believe that there is a right way for everyone, I think each person needs to figure out which is best for him or herself. And I think personally, I need to work on accepting everyone for the decision that he or she makes in this endeavor.

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