How To Be An Individual


From the day you’re born, people are going to try to slap labels on you.

They want to put you in a box because it’s easier than dealing with who you actually are. If you resist, they will call you a weirdo or a freak. This is just another way of saying they don’t understand you. Don’t allow yourself to be defined by other people’s limitations.

The one thing they can never take from you is the independence of your mind – that, you must surrender willingly. In exchange, they’ll offer you an identity, a ready-to-wear uniform that never quite fits. When you point this out, they’ll accuse you of not being a team player.

Tell them to suck it.

They will make a virtue of their weakness and enlist your strength to defend it. They will tell you that the only way to make your life count is by being part of something bigger than yourself. They will preach the importance of sticking together, but abandon you the minute you step out of line.

They will tell you there is power in numbers. The power of numbers is the power of the mob, a blind and brainless abomination that feeds on the lowest human instinct, the need to belong. To belong to something is to be owned by it. Freedom is a privilege reserved for those who refuse to enslave themselves.

A herd may travel far and wide, but you will never find one on a mountaintop. Every important human accomplishment begins with someone telling everyone else to fuck off.

Life will be full of challenges. Confront them with dignity . When you fail (and you will because if you don’t, it means you haven’t really tried), a million hands will reach out to offer you a reassuring pat on the back.

There is no greater obstacle to success.

You are not a chapter in someone else’s book – you are not a footnote. Encourage the voice that whispers deep inside you to climb up to the rooftop and scream “I AM!”

You are not your race, your class, nor your gender. These are accidents of birth that you should neither celebrate nor lament. The world owes you nothing, and you owe it nothing in return, not even an explanation.

You are not your history. You hold no claim to the injustices suffered by your ancestors, nor are you responsible for the brutalities inflicted by previous generations. The chains that anchor you to the past will only prevent you from moving forward.

You are not your government, your country, nor your political affiliations. You are not the products you buy, the clothes you wear, the TV shows you watch, the bands you like, nor the sports teams you cheer for. At every moment, you are a state of pure potential, waiting to become whatever you choose to be.

Your existence is as unique and ineffable as a snowflake. Learn to appreciate your life as a singular opportunity.

And watch out for people with shovels. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

This post originally appeared at STREET CARNAGE.

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