Friday, May 05, 2006

How to be a Rebel, Part 1

I think most people in this world want to stand out in some way. Even I do, and I normally don't like being the center of attention. (I think it could be argued, however, that being the center of attention and standing out are two very different things.) People like to think of themselves as unique individuals. We all like to have something about us that's different than other people, that makes us special.

I think we are all special, but I think people often confuse "special" and "standing out" with being different. For a lot of people these days, it seems like to be different means to be bad. That is, if you have black hair with chunky blue highlights, you stand out. If you can "hold your own" when you drink alcohol, you stand out. If you do things you're told not to, you stand out.

Well, my take on the whole thing is that none of these things make anybody stand out anymore. Too many people try to be shocking nowadays. I can't tell you how many people have played the "Am I shocking you yet?" card with me. It's really getting old because nobody's really that shocking anymore. What would be shocking is if everyone I ran into during the day was friendly and cheerful. Because I think that in today's world, we can stand out by being good -- by following some common rules of decency, the most notable of which is The Golden Rule.

You wanna be a leader and a social rebel? Be the person who doesn't get drunk on the weekends. Be the one who doesn't have 5 body piercings. Or just try being plain ol' nice and unassuming. Those are two characteristics that I think are all-too-absent in people right now. They are abnormal. So if you think standing out is being different, than try those two things.

Maybe this whole post is kind of juvenile, but I think it's a topic worth re-examining. It's something I have to remind myself of on a daily basis because I want to make sure that I am nice and friendly and open to new people. So. What are your thoughts?

Thing I'm thankful for: Quiet Friday nights at home.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Lexia said...

True dat.

Wouldn't it be funny if Gothic kids wore all pink instead of black? Would they be taken less "seriously" if they chose a pastel color? I don't mean to pick on Gothic people, they're just a group that immediately came to my mind.

I think what you're really saying is be the one who [Insert dramatic pause and cue cheesey midi music now] loves...

4:16 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Yeah. I realized that in high school. I've already told you this, but I thought I was so clever when I realized that all the "nonconformist" kids that I was hanging out with were conforming to a different lifestyle, but conforming none the same.

Apparently, being nice does make you stand out. When I lived in NYC the lady at the corner store I always went to told me that I always looked "happy" and "clean." And that lady has definitely seen me at my worst and un-cleannest.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

"None the same?" Is that an actual phrase? Or am I making these up now? Words are losing their meaning at this point.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Lauren, you make me laugh because over the last few days I have said a million things and then turned around with a puzzled look on my face asking, "Was that a Germanism or did I just make that up? Do people say that?" It's writing all those papers and worrying so awfully about how to word things ;o)

As for your post, Sara, I love it. It's true. People who are more than just polite do stand out and make me happy. Look at Ashley's "Mid-town post office" post. The whole world should be that way. It shouldn't be hard to talk and laugh with strangers, right? I do have to say that Americans on the whole are very friendly and outgoing, though. Try to talk to a German stranger in a store. Wow, you might just be blown away by the grumpiness ;o) Germans are really reserved in general.

I have also realized that people will notice if you DON'T swear instead of being shocked if you do! Without ever pointing out that I don't enjoy crude language all my coworkers figured that out simply by the fact that I didn't use any!!

11:14 AM  

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