You are an individual.
Do they spit lies?
You are told that you’re an individual when in reality everything around you and inside you screams of other people’s expectations and desires.
The minute we are born, parents subconsciously attach their happiness to us. They pick up outfits for us since we’re too young to even know what to wear or how to socialize. They raise us and teach us to adapt to the society, norms and culture that surrounds us. We give in. That’s how it is.
We are born with genes that determine a lot about our physical and sometimes even behavioural characteristics. What’s so original about being born out of centuries of handed-down genes? It’s not like I’m one of a kind, mutated human like the X-men. Even being a mutant comes with a lot of pressure for societal conformity. So I’m rather comfortable being a human, but sometimes I start to wonder: Does that spark of individuality truly exist within all of us, or is everything just a manifestation and effect of things around us.
After all that conditioning, what is actually left of us? Are we truly as individualistic as we like to think we are?
Go to college. Get a degree. Look for a job. Find your soul mate. Get married.
These are all meaningful steps in our lives, but it’s frightening how much of other’s aspirations are invested in us. Our lives are already engineered in advance by society; we are already working our way to that degree or that entry-level job. That’s how life works. It isn’t necessarily a dreary and wearisome journey; in fact it could be rather enjoyable depending on circumstances and personal preferences.
Many of us are studying for degrees not because it’s what we truly want, but merely because there might be a slight chance that our resume will stand out more in the near future when we are hunting jobs. A good handful of us are pursuing a job or degree we don’t want, primarily because it puts food on the table or because our parents might experience that joyous moment when we graduate with a post-graduate degree. We are not as separate as we think we are, our goals and professions are at times attached to other people and their well-being, joy or expectations.
But you know what?
There are rare occasions where we have the ability to tune into our individual being and soul. Some find it through meditation, music or joy in pursuing a hobby no one else knows about.
Others find it in that tiny moment where you’re standing in a crowd of friends and a single thought in your mind knocks down every argument they have to present in the ongoing debate about politics, culture or the economy.
Children who are too young to be aware of morals and consequences stand stubborn as stone against their well-informed parents about something they believe in. That is individuality.
Being put in social conditions and realizing what you feel or think stands apart from any expectation, conditioning or external factor. Experiencing a short moment of self-realization where what you think or feel holds more value than any economic, social or moral standard is being an individual. These tiny moments build up inside us every single day and help morph us into the person we are today or will be tomorrow.
It’s these glimpses within ourselves that allow us to realize we are alone and have the ability to retain our own mind and soul despite everything that is around us.