The Nonconformist

Today I celebrate the nonconformist. The one who thumbs their nose at convention. The one who doesn’t follow the crowd. The one who blazes their own trail and never looks back.  It is this sort of person who creates innovation and brings new ideas to life.  Without the nonconformist the world would be a boring place indeed.

It is understandable to want to blend into the background. It is safe there. Away from attention and possible controversy, judgement or dislike. I’ve spent most of my life in the shadows hiding from the light. But that is a lonely existence hiding away behind a wall and not showing your true face to the world. You not only deprive yourself of the world, you deprive the world of yourself.

Don’t do this!  Stand out and be proud for being yourself.  As my friend and mentor Dr Seuss  once proclaimed;

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

 

tulip fields--flowers

I often liken the world to a garden and people to flowers in that garden. Through diversity in nature we find strength and resilience. This reminds me of the Potato famine in Ireland in the 1840’s. One in eight Irish people died of starvation during this horrible famine. It was a lack of genetic variation in Irish potatoes that contributed to its severity when blight wiped out the potato crop in which the people’s diet was so dependent on. This devastated Ireland’s population and economy.  Evolutionary theory tells us that relying on a mono-culture is a recipe for disaster.

When we are all the same, we as a people stagnate. New ideas are not formed and our garden of humanity is in danger of being wiped out when the inevitable crisis occurs and no new solutions can be found. I don’t think our culture encourages diversity of thought as much as it should. People are led to believe the fallacy that in order to get along we must conform to rigid social norms that leads to a group vs group mentality which in turn leads to exclusion, misunderstandings and unfortunately, at times…violence. They say that birds of a feather flock together and I see this time and time again.

Everyone has their own song to sing and each one is different and beautiful. We must learn to respect the songs of others and see the loveliness in our diversity. We must also see how valuable we all are to each other and know that everyone can contribute; not just those whose personal philosophies align with our own. Lastly we must learn to recognize our own wonderful uniqueness and not be ashamed to show it to the world. The more people that do this, the more such differences will become acceptable. So if you already haven’t done so–find your own unique and beautiful song. Sing it loud and sing it proud.

Have a wonderful day!

Strawberryindigo.

writers 3 weird guys

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

– Apple, “Think Different” campaign

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“The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.”

― Martin Luther King Jr

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27 thoughts on “The Nonconformist

  1. I am sorry I haven’t read this post before. It is nice to know that you were celebrating “me” ;). Your article has taught me a lot – loved the example with the lack of genetic variety in spuds :D. Bless you, Nancy.

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  2. Thank you for celebrating the oddball tribe! I don’t think people really consider the traps that conformity lays….and you spell it out so clearly. Only by accepting and celebrating all the gifts people bring to this world, no matter how odd or different they seem, can we ever “learn to live as one.” It’s another great post, Nancy!

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  3. If only more people thought like you do Nancy. Not conforming can be extremely difficult, but for some there is just no alternative where conforming would mean giving up everything you are. I can understand this so well! I really love that quote: “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Loved this post!

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  4. “The more society demands that the individual live up to its concepts and ideas, the less efficiently can the individual function. The greater the discrepancy between what one can be through one’s inborn potential and the superimposed, idealistic concepts, the greater the strain and the likelihood of failure. I give a ridiculously exaggerated example. An elephant wants to be a rose bush; a rose bush wants to be an elephant. Until each resigns to being what it is, both will lead unhappy lives of inferiority.”… Fritz Perls

    Love this path you’ve been on. We certainly get far too much of the insane madness from elephants supposedly running this country…… 😀

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  5. I love the way you think, and write about this! To be different, to make a splash and to accept others is so important and sometimes not as highly valued as they should be.

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  6. This is a wonderful reminder that should be said many times for it to sink it. It is ok to be your own unique self. I tell this to my children often. There are times to blend and times to sing loudly off key 🙂 Thank you for sharing and I absolutely love the blog picture at the top!!

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