Friday, October 30, 2009

We Are Made To Be Different

One of the best ways to make myself miserable is to start comparing myself to others. To start the ranking process to figure out who’s superior and who’s inferior. To look at someone else and feel bad because I don’t have their complexion, their body, their brains, their whatever. One of the best ways to make myself miserable is to start wanting to be someone else because I think they are better or superior to me.

U.S. culture really doesn’t help matters. It seems to me anyway, there is this overarching push to achieve, to be the best at something. And if you’re not the best then you’re just a loser. What’s that saying, “No one remembers who came in second?” And, “Second place is another name for first loser?” What lovely concepts!

This ranking thing has to go. I can’t speak for everyone but I can say for me it’s been detrimental. In high school I really wanted to be salutatorian of my class, mostly so I could give a speech at graduation. The day class rank came out I remember passing by the guidance counselor in the cafeteria and I said, “Well?” She held up three fingers. I had dropped from number two to number three. I went to my car in the parking lot and cried as I slumped over the steering wheel. I cried. Over class rank. Because I was one one-thousandth of a point lower than someone else. Really? What does it matter if I’m number two or number 200? It’s doesn’t mean I’m “worse” than anyone else.

I think partly, yes, in high school I used my class rank as a means to identify my self-worth, but I know now self-worth comes from within. Yet, I think at the root of this whole ranking, superiority/inferiority thing is a rejection of the self. Of wanting to be like someone else. To look like someone else. To have what someone else has.

One of my favorite authors Louise L. Hay says, “We are each made to be different.” It does me no good to try to be like anyone else because I end up demoralized and depressed. I am me. I am made by my creator specifically so I can be me. We are each made to be different. No one is superior or inferior to anyone. This whole rank and number one business is a human construct, which means it can be unconstructed.

We are made to be ourselves. We are made to be different. Billions of stars light up the night sky. Each is important. Each is valuable. I don’t look like Heidi Klum because I’m not supposed to look like Heidi Klum. I’m supposed to look like me. The more I love and approve and accept myself as I am the better. So I’m kicking inferiority and superiority out the door.

I dream of a world where we all love and approve and accept ourselves as we are. Where we recognize our magnificence, where we recognize our brightness. Where we know we are neither superior nor inferior to anyone else. Where we understand we are each made to be different. Where we revel in our differences and accept who we are as people. Where we come together as a bouquet of flowers, each flower beautiful in its own right, but not nearly as beautiful as when they’re bound together.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

No comments:

Post a Comment