Differently Unique or Uniquely Different?
That feeling of standing out and not being like others. It can be uncomfortable. Uneasy. Even intimidating. It can lead to feeling lonely - as if everybody is sharing an important secret and you are the only one who doesn't know what that secret is. Does that mean being different equals being excluded, even though this is how our lives were set up?
As individuals, we come together to form a community, a collective, a society. We are not the product of mass production but have been single-handedly crafted. So, why does it matter if we don't look, talk or behave like the people around us?
You must have heard the terms "culture shock" or "cultures clashing". These things occur, even though humanity was supposed to have different nuances. Many of us have lost the ability to look beyond and accept the things that are different from us, yet we were never meant to be exactly the same.
Earth's divine design is based on diversity. "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,..." Acts 17:26 NKJV
Imagine living in a world where everybody and everything were indistinguishable and exactly the same. Even now, in this information-driven world we live in, being exposed to so many different messages on a daily basis, we tend to easily get bored by our surroundings. Then why try so hard to be "part of the crowd"?
One explanation could be that simply being a face in the crowd is easier. Not standing out offers the convenient option of hiding behind others, in case anything goes wrong or you make a mistake. Yet, the question remains: "Who made it an absolute truth that if a collective of people shares the same opinion or behavioral pattern that it automatically is the right path to follow?"
Think of peer pressure for example. Wikipedia defines it this way: "Peer pressure (or social pressure) is the direct influence on people by peers, or an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitudes, values, or behavior to conform to those of the influencing group or individual."
Now, does that sound like something to aspire? Having to change who you are as a person to please other people? In my opinion, there are more important things to focus on.
You shouldn't allow other people's behavior navigate the way you think about yourself. Don't focus on conforming to standards other people have created for you. God has already set the standard and equipped you with the compass that will point you in the right direction. If you get consumed by trying to fit in by all means, it will only cause you to get distracted from your greatest task yet, which is fulfilling the mission God has set you on earth to do. You might say: "But it is also my duty to interact with and live in harmony with others." And you are absolutely right about that! But living in peace with others doesn't mean having to lose yourself in the process. If people don't feel comfortable around you because you are "different", guess what, it is not your duty to make them feel comfortable either. It is your job to conduct yourself as the person God created you to be: unique and special!
Anybody can be ordinary but it takes a special grace to be exceptional. Start embracing and celebrating that you stand out from the crowd because you were not meant to be ordinary! Find some tips on how you can start on that journey in my book "Loving Yourself Is Always The Best Choice".