Don’t worry about being generic – be proud to be yourself

“There are people who are generic. They make generic responses and they expect generic answers. They live inside a box and they think people who don’t fit into their box are weird. But I’ll tell you what, generic people are the weird people. They are like genetically-manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.”

― C. JoyBell C.

There are times throughout our lives when we find ourselves surrounded by an endless stream of individuals who adopt what is “popular” in society – all in an effort to fit in rather than stand out.

We conform our language, behaviors, preferences and prejudices based on what is deemed acceptable as a culture, whether we truly agree with it or not.

Today we seem to gauge what’s important and relevant by how many “likes” and “shares” something gets on Facebook and other social platforms – few of which possess any ethical or moral code. While the internet has allowed millions of people from all over the globe to connect with each other, when all is said and done it has created a population of generic people.

It’s hard to stand out from the crowd. You often get “the look” when you tell people you don’t drink, don’t watch certain popular television shows, never tried drugs or enjoy watching Christmas movies. That “look” is often one of judgment, as those generic individuals simply can’t understand why you wouldn’t want to belong to the popular club.

The reality of such a membership guarantees you won’t stand out from the crowd, but that’s also the downside. Stereotypes are easily achieved by those who struggle with insecurity – often finding the art of being just like everyone else comforting. But at the end of the day, the only people who are truly memorable in life are those who are proud to be themselves – unafraid to like what they like not just when it’s convenient in groups and at parties, but each and every day they’re blessed to be alive.

A definite sign of maturity is the ability and desire to distance yourself from simply being generic. To appreciate and respect the differences which make us all unique – not judge others based on their lack of committal to what is considered “the norm” in this complicated society we all live in.

Fred Rogers once said, “I don’t think anyone can grow unless he’s loved exactly as he is now, appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be.”