I believe in the uniqueness of the individual. Everyday in my life I am faced with choices. These choices always seem to be backed up by a desire to live my life through what I feel is right or through what other people would have me do. I ask myself, “what will I wear today?” The answer: “whatever is appropriate for my peers or family to see me in.” I ask “should I ask that man out?” The answer: “would my friends and family approve of him.” Human nature seems to be guided around this idea that to be loved and accepted we must conform to society.
Some of the most influential people in my life have been the ones who embrace their uniqueness, not relying on others opinions of them to influence their decisions. In a smoke filled room music blaring, women laughing, I met my best friend Justin. It was my first college party. A friend from my psychology class invited me to come over to her apartment, and as a freshman who knew little people I enthusiastically said yes. The rooms were full of people drinking and I, whom had never drank alcohol in my life, was suddenly overwhelmed. Many people from the party began insisting that I drink, and a boy who I had never spoken to before spotted how uncomfortable I was becoming, and stood up in front of all his friends and spoke up for me.
Justin makes a point in living life to the fullest, which is what I believe embracing your uniqueness is all about; living as though there is no standard of normal, just being you. Because he chooses to embrace his uniqueness, as a consequence he does not have many friends. Today’s society tends to disapprove of what is different, but those few friends he does have love and cherish him for everything he is.
Justin taught me how to love, cry, hurt, and speak without fear. He taught me how beautiful acceptance can be. He taught me that when we become untrue to who we really are we begin to lose sight of the real beauty of life. Uniqueness adds spirit and excitement to our world. To look upon a garden speckled with all different colors and shapes of flowers can be a transforming experience. Every flower displays its own unique qualities, and to try and change that flower would be destroying its natural beauty and uniqueness.
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