Ever since I hit third grade, I have been of the mind that I will not, absolutely will not, change myself to follow the crowd. I will be exactly who I want to be and I will be unapologetic about it. That is probably part of how I was able to step outside of Christianity. I was in fifth grade the first time I really realized that there were other ideas out there, other ways of believing, but that is another story for another time. The point is that for most of my life, I have had a strong sense of being an individual. I value it very highly, and as such, it surprises me and sometimes infuriates me to see people putting on a facade. On that thread, here’s the interesting question that has recently dawned on me. What is that fine line between changing yourself to be who you envision for yourself and just changing to follow the trends of the people around you? Does it really matter or is it of consequence in either case? As I highlighted in the question, I find it to be a very fine line here.
If I change myself to better suit the crowd I am with, I do it subconsciously. That also raises the addition to my above question, are people even aware that they are changing themselves? To me, it’s a very underlying and at the same time complex issue that faces today’s generation. Another thing is that we often define who we are by the music we listen to, the books we read, and the movies/television shows we chose to watch. If you take all of that away, even stripping away the division of religion, how do we define ourselves? How do we separate ourselves from the next Joe Blow? I think even for the people who follow the crowd, this is important. We all want to be individual on some level, to stand out from the crowd, to know that there are reasons for someone to love us above another. It’s basic human nature. Please feel free to argue with me on this point.
On the spiritual side of things, there is the possibility that the part of us that lives forever, what some call the soul, is what defines us, what makes us who we are. It is the part of us that goes beyond just our brain and physical being. It is what makes us aware of ourselves and the world around us. If you believe in reincarnation, and I do to a certain extent, then who we are comes from our past life experiences, those things that greatly influence us but we completely unaware of. We are defined by what we have done and what we will do. The rest is just outward appearance.
There is not much about ourselves that we cannot change, not in this day and age. We can change our skin, our eye color, our hair, even our sex. We can alter the way we look at the world, the music we listen to, the way we act, the people we spend our time with. When we are born, we are given certain default settings, but as we get older and accumulate more and more updates, those options to change our defaults become more and more.
It is hard for someone to stay in their default settings their entire life, even though it has been done and truthfully, there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with changing every single thing about yourself, if that is what you truly want to do and be. What it comes down to, at least for me, is motive. Motive makes all the difference in the world and something we all need to ask ourselves from time to time is if we are doing the things we do for the right reasons. In truth, even though I want to, no one can judge your motives but you and your maker. Even so, I want to request of my readers one thing: Never lie about what you think or feel. Never lie about what you want to do or be. And absolutely NEVER lie about who you are, not even to yourself.