Be Different but don’t be Different?

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

In genre fiction, most adventure or epic forms, the protagonist is an ordinary person placed in extraordinary situations. They are praised for a certain talent or personality trait that saves them in the end.

Despite being nothing special at the beginning, they have something that makes them special. As their story unfolds they become extremely special by the end.

Sometimes the protagonist starts as impressive or unique, but that almost always makes them social outcast in order to avoid making them seem too good to be true. We excuse friends, or characters we’ve watched grow, from this because we feel invested in their journey.

The whole narrative informs and is informed by real life, where anything new or different is seen as suspect. People revel in watching those with fame or great ability fall from grace. Is it jealousy or just a twisted sense of balance?

The contradiction is certainly there for everyone to see. We as a society worship extraordinary abilities and accomplishments while simultaneously dehumanizing anyone who is different, including those same people.

It honestly feels like society is telling us to be different and special but while being like everyone else.

Hold on… while I climb onto my high horse.

There’s a lesson in this and it’s simply to think critically about your reactions to what’s different. Your natural instincts will kick in and tell you that different is evil, wrong, silly, etc.; well, your instincts are jerk-faces.

Take the time to understand, analyse, and if necessary, live and let live.

Different isn’t bad, it’s just different. We need to stop trying to pull each other down and instead celebrate both our differences and our talents.

 

Be aware, be curious, and be kind,

Éric

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