made us individuals,
as she did the flowers and the
but we are afraid to
be peculiar, and so our society
a bag of marbles, or
a string of mold candles. Why
same fashion? The frost never
paints my windows
of the biggest frustrations of teaching high school was
watching as the young students tried so hard to fit in with
certain groups that they adopted certain behaviors, ways of
dressing, and ways of looking at the world just so that they
would have more in common with the people they felt
comfortable with. There were always exceptions, of
course, but for the most part, the young people were more
interested in being just like others than they were in
expressing their unique selves.
say that we encourage young people to express their
individuality, but do we really? Do we criticize when
someone does something that we don't expect or want them to
do? Do we say "Cool shirt," or do we ask,
"Why are you wearing that?" because maybe we feel
a bit embarrassed to be with the person when they're wearing
such a thing?
really don't want to be just another marble in a bag.
I don't want to do things just to be different,
because then they don't feel authentic, but I do like to do
things that I really feel like doing. If my socks
don't match, who cares? I like colors, and having more
colors on makes me feel good. Sometimes I have to
catch myself because I find myself choosing clothes based on
how I think other people will react, and I have to just ask
myself, "What do I feel like wearing today?"
can we become if we try to be truly unique, truly the people
we're meant to be? Unfortunately, most of us never
will find out because we've simply gotten used to following
the lead of others, copying people with whom we want to have
something in common, preferring the ease of conformity to
the scariness of individuality. It's not the way we
have to do things, though, and it may be a good idea to
explore our individuality one of these days!