In our society, we do basically all we can to try and fit in. We need the right clothing, the right language, the right home and pattern of life–otherwise we are set apart without even realizing it. If we don’t wear clothing that is “up to date” with our culture, people notice. They can’t help it. They don’t have to say it, but they know you’re not exactly the same. This is simply because usually we see one type of clothing (or language, or behavior, etc) and often aren’t around differences. Sadly, it seems we may never grow out of this arrogance because, as human beings, we want to belong; and our instinctive action to fit in is to act exactly as everyone else does.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing to go with the flow of culture. Trends come and go and it’s fine to go along with them as long as you don’t get swept up–so far that you lose yourself and become someone else you aren’t meant to be. So, our desire is to be needed, wanted, and accepted, and we do that by copying and following and mimicking everyone around us. But what if we could redefine what it means to “fit in?” Instead of replicating each other, what if we used our individual talents and quirks to compliment each other. What is we didn’t try to fit on top of each other–a perfect congruent pattern repeating over and over–and instead fit together like a puzzle. Everyone is different, but that’s what makes it beautiful. A puzzle isn’t a puzzle if the pieces are all the same. Doesn’t diversity define beauty, anyway?
For thousands of years, people who don’t go with the flow are remembered. Different people switch up our way of thinking, and we don’t forget them. Examples that immediately come to mind are Albert Einstein, Malala Yousafzai, Gandhi, Martin Luther, Adolf Hitler, and Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter if we think these people are “good or bad,” the point is that they did not follow the rules of the world as everyone else does–they stood up for what they believed in and made a huge impact on people, even after some of them died (or rose to life in heaven!). So my question is, if we look up so much to people who are different, then why do we shun difference in the present time? Perhaps it’s fear that we’ll favor one person over another. Perhaps we are jealous or insecure. Whatever it is, it’s not how we should work with each other. Rather than pushing away people who don’t go with the flow of the world, we should try to bring out our qualities and skills to link with other peoples’. What would happen if each individual person acted to their fullest ability, playing their role with their gifts to compliment other people’s gifts? Imagine the beautiful, thriving culture we would live in.
As a final send off, I just want to say that this is not something we can accomplish overnight. We will not automatically turn a switch to light up every part of our lives for the benefit of the community. However, if everyone plays their small part on this big earth, a change will take place. Remember, no little thing is too little if you do it with love.