We all want to be noticed, because that makes us feel like we matter. Yet, we don’t want to be noticed TOO much. We don’t want to be TOO different. We admire those who are eccentric and quirky – like, say Einstein but are terrified of being that person. (The nerve it would take to appear in public with that head of hair!) We walk a tight rope of being unique without being odd. We want to find our niche as long as we have plenty of company there. We want to shine, but not, heaven forbid, by being – gasp – DIFFERENT.
Yet, God seems to delight in differences. He created in such variety, far beyond pragmatic needs for survival. Imagine the fun He must have had creating such diversity of flora and fauna and Einsteins and Picassos and Galileos, and even you and me. He could have made us all look alike, think alike, feel alike….but he didn’t. I can’t see any other possible reason than that it was for His enjoyment. And, if He finds difference enjoyable, that explains why we really do too.
We LIKE quirky. So, the question that remains is “why do we strive so tenaciously for sameness? Hair styles, clothing styles, house styles, entertainment styles – we dare not stray too far from the norm.. Looking at teenagers, who are just exaggerated versions of adults, we can see it most clearly, that driving fear of STANDING OUT, and how that keeps us from being OUTSTANDING. The older that I get, the more it seems that my quirkiness just cannot be contained any longer. I am getting beyond the pretense of normal, it just takes too much energy to try to maintain that sort of façade. I have given up the battle…and won the prize. Turns out that being a bit different in method and perspective is probably one of my best assets.
After all, what is Art but bringing a different vision of the world to people – whether it be a brighter, cheerier version, or a view of some of the darker inner realities. Some things need to be uniform – what time students show up for a class, or how fast people drive. It is most convenient that a cheeseburger always be a cheeseburger and that we wear our shirts on top and our pants on bottom. Yes, uniformity and conformity have their place, but let’s not over use them! Let your true self shine and be brave in revealing your own lovely quirks!
Pulled from the random thoughts in my sketchbook/art journal/life book: