Feelings of disgust fill me when I observe the identity ofan individual’s soul being crushed by the widespread need to fit in with society and be like everyone else. Our unique pasts create differences in character, appearance and emotion, which form the foundations for our personal beliefs. When society attempts to erase these differences to create a homogeneous society, individualism, a value that should be held in high esteem, is lost. Throughout my life, I have been blessed with a combination oftwo traits: I am observant and skeptical. Watching so many otherpeople’s lives and hearing so many other people’s opinions has given methe impression that the human spirit has been confined to theimpersonation of other people’s beliefs, wisdoms, and virtues. I believe in the saying that imitation is the sheerest form of flattery, but I also believe that it hinders a persons mental evolution. After all what good is a brain if it never thinks a new thought or has a groundbreaking idea? Nothing but a useless mass of brain tissue. The other source that aided in the forming of my own individualism, are the various authors, poets, songwriters, and other dignitaries who I valued and cherished so deeply. Any sort of publication that celebrates the individual captures my attention and can range from the books and essays of Henry David Thoreau to the rebellious content in the music of Rage Against the Machine. Since I read Walden, Thoreau has branded his interpretation of a
famous saying into my brain: “If a man does not keep pace withhis companions, perhaps it is because he hears a differentdrummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured orfar away.” When I think of the countless acts that people to commit in order to make themselves “acceptable to society” it is unbelievable. Anything from the mutilation of ones body so formally called plastic surgery to the bingeing and purging that so many women and men experience. Many suicides can be contributed to the fact that people are not accepted because of certain differences. I say do not be ashamed of who you are. God made each and every one of us special and although you may not be like the everyday ordinary man do not look at that as a disadvantage but rather a benefit, because you have something that they don’t. Whether that it is a special talent in art or a unique writing ability or whatever the case it makes you different and that is what you should be most proud of. A poster on the wall of my friend s bedroom illustrates a beatnik walking in the opposite direction of a crowd of suited businessmen contains a quote: “The dissenter is every humanbeing at whose moments of his life when he resigns momentarilyfrom the herd and thinks for himself.” These are words that Ilive by.