“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest achievement.”
Recognising that we are all individuals, that there is no one else in the world exactly like us, it is important that we take this responsibility to show the rest of the world this individuality, seriously. I’m sure you’ve all seen families who have the same parents but all the children appear to have different parents. Parents who perhaps who have been brought up to believe it is important to treat all the children the same, not to favour any one child. But in doing so, they are not acknowledging that they are not the same, so what works with one may very well not work with the others.
And whether you are in the classroom or in the playground there is a pressure both seen and unseen to conform, to not standout as being different. If you do try to continue to stand up for what you believe regardless of peer beliefs you could be labelled as a rebel, as eccentric, and as all sorts of unkind names that can drive young people struggling to get through their teen years, to suicide. The truth is, it can make those who are conforming, feel uncomfortable, as we often fear those who are not like us. This could be as different as another culture, another family background or just living from your own sense of place in the world. It is time for us all to respect the differences in others. Ask yourself when you next feel uncomfortable about someone who is different from you, “What is it about this person that makes me feel this discomfort?” It could be they are actually doing something you would like to be doing but have been brought up to believe it’s not appropriate in some way. This may then give you the sense of permission to go out and live your own life more fully!
Enjoy living life as you, it may be the best legacy you can leave the world!