Trust 30: Day 11
Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours?
This prompt has haunted me for the last couple days from the time it came in my email. Don’t we all want to desperately believe that we are unique and uncommon, people who strive to be individuals who don’t care about the common masses? The truth is that this is, in fact, false. In all our attempts at marching to the beat of a different drummer we are in actuality creating a harmonious hum with a common beat. We don’t want to stray too far from the path. We don’t want to be different. And we don’t want to be individuals. Truthfully, we are much too vain and care too much what “they” think for us to do any differently. For all our attempts at being different from the norm we ultimately end up being just the same. Don’t believe me? Look around. All the rebellion that erupts from what is perceived to be The Establishment always results in the outer group settling into looking, acting, sounding, and producing the exact same things.
I don’t believe the idea of Uniqueness, as we vainly want to grasp it, actually exists. We are social creatures by nature. This is why Thoreau’s Walden was both painful for him and rewarding. It was also meant to be temporary. While our conceit wants us to be The Only One Who we are not meant to live that way. We are meant to create and live, love and exist together. Inevitably this will mean a natural imitation. Not because we are not inherently creative, but because we are inherently admirers.
So what does this mean? This means, for me, outwitting the natural tendency of hiding in the back. I would much rather not be individual in and of myself and be one of the admirers rather than one of the creators. Or, be one of the creators and hide it — not because I am prideful but because I feel that it isn’t good enough. My creativity becomes stifled hidden in the back and then I become discouraged, no longer wanting to try anything new.
Perhaps this is why people prefer seeking out Uniqueness and Individuality in groups, and why Thoreau found it so difficult while at Walden Pond. Being alone usually is.
Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate.
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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