1.17.2014

Being Unique and Imperfect


One of the most likeliest causes of depression is comparison frenzy, I think.

In our society, we tend to measure our self worth and our values with that of the dominant class ( read: the celebrity types, the wealthy, the powerful, the beautiful, the youthful, the front page hoggers).

We also measure ourselves with the current trend, rejecting anything old as old fashioned and useless.

The victims of this comparison frenzy are often the old, the young, the women and also an important category whom we mostly forget : the introverts.

For instance, the introverted people feel that they are less smart than the extroverted people. There are many forums in social media which are run by the introverts to learn the nitty gritty of how to become socially smart. Many introverts suddenly  become "people pleasers" just to fit in a highly extroverted society.

There are many more cases such as this.  For instance, the case of an old man comparing himself to a young man and feeling "out of place ". Or the case of a young man comparing himself to a celebrity and getting stressed out because he has not achieved his idol's body type ( or personality type ) yet. Or the case of that young woman comparing herself to that gorgeous looking woman who happens to be her friend.

The old man who compares himself to the youth, feels that he is unwanted and left out in this age of texting, and internet and movies which are solely targeted at a young audience. The old man feels redundant and feels left out of conversation which they are not able to follow. 

To get over his redundancy, the old man desperately attempts to color his hair or give some unasked for advice (masked as wisdom from an experienced old chap) to the younger lot. He goes to such an extent just to fit into a society, which he feels no longer needs his participation.
Similar is the case of the common man obsessed with the celebrity types. Many want to buy similar gowns worn by their favourite celebrity on the red carpet even if they can hardly afford it . Some people go to the extent of following a celebrity  everyday in Twitter or Facebook, just to say "hi, good morning Julia ",  unconscious of the fact that those were fake celebrity profiles. Some would copy the celebrity lifestyle by feeding their kids the same brand of breakfast cereal that the celebrity is seen promoting on T.V.,  even if the celebrity actually does not use that product on her own kids!

Apart from comparing oneself to celebrities or getting influenced by them, common people  also compare themselves with other common people of their own herd. A homemaker compares herself with the working woman, for instance. In our society, a homemaker is always looked down upon as if homemakers shouldn't have existed in the first place. I myself have been looked down upon by women and men -by both the earning/working and the non-earning type.

All these comparison that we make, points to one fact: 
Low Self Esteem.
Only people with low self esteem ( who do not value their individuality or uniqueness) compare themselves with others. They think that others are better than them in some ways. They also think that by doing something "extra" ( i.e. buying  that wonder cream, getting a new job or getting their kids admitted to a prestigious school ), they would be able to "fit in".

But far from feeling satisfied, this tendency to fit in leaves a man still hungry for some more.
Maybe, some more "fitting in " ?

However, the more one tries to compare or fit in, the more anxiety and bitterness one encounters in the process.

I feel that an old man need not act like that "hip" grandpa  or a young woman need not buy so many cosmetics to feel good.

Even as I am writing this topic,  I am wondering : Who am I to judge or question other people's choices ? Let the grandpa color his hair and the young girl go on a diet...who am I to judge them ?

But I am writing this because I feel that as an individual and as a nation, we have begun to make changes and make comparisons because we dislike ourselves. 
These changes are not coming from a positive/informed place but from a place of deep dislike for the self, from a sense of lacking rather than from a sense of well being.
Well, each one of us would know actually from "where" it is coming from-so, let us look within and perceive ourselves rather than judge others.

I deeply feel that if we depend on something "outside of us " to give us some sense of identity then we would be, as individuals, forever restless and unfulfilled.
Only by looking within ourselves, we can discover our real identity. The "flaws" in ourselves can never be compared with the so called "perfection" in others. We can only be our own best version rather than being the bad version or the bad copy of someone else. Sometimes, by embracing our own flaws and by even liking them , we can be happy in our own skin.

The urge to prove ourselves to others in this society is the greatest mistake that we can make.
Why try to prove anything to anyone at all when God did not ask for any proof from our parents when he  created us in the first place ?

Why did God not make each one of us looking exactly the same- with the same size, the same striking beauty or the same flawless complexion or even the same brain ? It is because, he wanted us to cherish our uniqueness.

Why did God not mean us to  become forever young and healthy but rather age and become old ? It is because he wanted us to accept what is obvious.
---------------

There are no flaws. Only differences.
Some people hate us because of our flaws, some love us in spite of our flaws and a handful  love us only because of our flaws ( because they have been there too ).
So, be Unique.
Revel in your individuality.
Stand Apart.
Do not follow the herd mentality.
Love yourself.
Discover your own hidden talents rather than copying others.

Be your own first rate version rather than being somebody else's second rate version.