None of us are born with an identity. Though our born and bred genetic code goes on to define a great deal of who we are, our coding means nothing without the experiences we go through and the things we witness.

We are largely reactionary souls, responding to stimuli and forming opinions on it while using our memories and predispositions as guides. What this creates is a pattern of learning and adjustment, spanning from birth until death, carving a flowing line through the years in between.

But people find themselves seeking something solid in their lives and, looking back through their past, they only see the calligraphy created by the experiences that make them unique. With nothing rigid to anchor them, they start to hammer out the dents and curves, striving futilely to make a fluid thing solid, erasing their own experiences just to feel more secure.

Worse still, many seek out templates and begin mimicking what others have done. Rather than listening to the experiences of their own lives, they put their trust, almost completely, into a person or a thing that has never walked in their shoes.

It's as if they've taken an eraser and stricken their memories from the face of the earth, making time they've spent on earth completely pointless. By the time it's over, they might as well have never existed at all for they're just living a shadow of someone or something else.

Our individuality isn't just a matter of being who we are and living our lives on our terms, but also of making the most of our precious time. If we walk freely where others have tread before, we have achieved nothing. If we allow ourselves to ignore what we have seen and felt, it's as if we never lived at all.

We are all vulnerable to the pitfalls of conformity. Countless so-called iconoclasts appear as such only because they imitate other individuals. However, it's not because they don't want to be true to themselves, but because it's frightening to look out into the future and have no idea what to do next.

If our lives are to count for anything we can only be rigid in regards to ourselves. We have to use the gifts we were given and the experiences we've had not just to form a common bond with our fellow man, but to discover and cherish what makes us unique.

The calligraphy that is our lives is a truly beautiful thing, even at its ugliest; it plays a part in a gorgeous image. To erase that, out of fear or convenience, is to erase ourselves, and not just our memories gone by, but also our future place in the annals of history.

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12 Responses to Individuality

  1. mike cloud says:

    a poigniant insight to the losses suffered when we, as individuals, allow ourselves to be led rather than find our own way. such is the sad state of humankind; crass commercialism, dictating what is acceptable, morally defunct values, painting a faux image, when with just a modicum of basic honesty, the true freedom of the spirit may be experienced. our so-called leaders, led by the greed of the few, allow such atrocities to escalate. we need to open our eyes!

  2. 4:20 Honey says:

    This gives a new outlook on my life. AND I KNOW
    so many others, as well!

  3. paul says:

    Yeah your write it's like a being printed as we go along our path. Thanks ever again however to stop saying thanks would meen you might not write anymore like some people so yea thanks alot your stuff helps me understand my messed up life more then i think i do.

  4. Cyrus says:

    For as long as I can remember I have been trying to convey the same message. Don't do something just because yourfavorite singer or favorite actor/actress does it, do it because it is what YOU as an INDIVIDUAL want.

  5. Raven Nocturne says:

    This reminds me of your anti-conformity rant. I think you're one of the most talented writers I've ever seen and truly a revolutionary thinker. It is true, unfortunately, that everyone loses their individuality to some degree or another. I once saw a T-shirt that I thought was sardonically funny that said "Remember your unique-just like everyone else." I think it could be applied here.

  6. stephany says:

    i love this u r so right!!!!! i used to do this but i have since leard that i need to be me i hope others find there own way instead of trying to be some thing there not!

  7. Ceptic Torch says:

    To quote Robert Frost "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took the one less traveled, and that has made all the difference." Or my personal varient on this quote, "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took my chainsaw and carved my own path."

  8. Razzie says:

    rock on. write one of these 'bout solituted to please. goths rule.

  9. Spyder says:

    This is true, unfortunately many times it is easier to follow than to lead and that is a shame. The importance of being an individual is that no matter what one has to be true to oneself and not fall into the superfcicial/materialistic this world has succummed so many. Be as you are and not be afraid of it.

  10. Ivy says:

    Yesterday, I was pondering about my memory a lot. I notice I have spent enough time thinking about the bad things. Although, it has helped me a lot. To experience what I have and look at things from a whole new perspective. To treasure what I have went through because it is who I am today and I wouldn't change a thing. I've noticed too many people trying to be different, but yet at the same time, they spend too much time doing that looking at others, then getting on with their own lives, experiencing their own ideas or feelings. I must say, you once again struck a button with this one for me. It's good to hear(see) these words. To know others like you (and Crystal) are out there. Thanks.

  11. Akeba Copeland says:

    dear writer,
    I totally agree with your sentiment on individuality. Like Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated in his essay "Self-Reliance", "Imitation is suicide". If we go around imitating others and allow the experiences of others to wholly dictate our lives, who are we? Our being here on this earth will have been completely pointless and we would have left behind no real legacy to testify of our time here.

  12. Pulse says:

    this is so true i love it we do tend to look to other peoples lifes and experiences sometimes for advice on our own but i dissagree with my teachers and my parents on look to other peoples mistakes to learn a lesson a lesson is only trully learned when we do something to cause it thats probaly why they look at me and say i told you what happened when i did this why did you do the same thing

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