This I Believe
Most everybody wants to fit in, and almost nobody wants to be different. Modern society is all about being “normal”. American culture demands conformity, and the citizens of the ‘land of the free’ are all too eager to comply. Soon, all anybody strives to be, is simply a cookie-cutter counterpart of the person standing next to them. When life is all about fitting in, people often cover up true intentions, and regret the times any slip of emotion shows. You cannot show what you feel, and you cannot say what you think. I believe that all of this is ridiculous, I believe in what is, over what appears to be.
In high school, teenagers wear a mask. Everything is smiles and study on the surface, in reality however, we’re all conniving adolescents with hidden agendas and concealed motives. At least that’s interesting. I would much rather know somebody for who they are, as opposed to who they think they should be. Yesterday I read a passage in a book about a candle and it’s reflection. In the mirror, the flickering flame looks warm and inviting and comforting, but it is only that, an image. In actuality, a candle is far too hot and when touched, it is apt to burn. On a cold night though, no picture will thaw the freeze. Flaws in character, individual imperfections, all make people worth knowing. Perfection is unrealistic, unattainable, not very interesting, and far too much to live up to.
Society is an illusion, a place where all things unpleasant are swept up, and away, and out of sight. People live in this dream world where they focus on what they wish life were like, ignoring everything that doesn’t quite fit into their ideal. The thing of it is, that life actually is pretty neat. Often times, the things that don’t fit become more valuable than the things that do, and as nobody fits in one hundred percent of the time, it seems almost pointless to always try. I believe that interesting people are pretty amazing. I believe that a mere picture of a candle won’t keep you warm. I believe in what is, over what appears to be.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.