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Jun 29, 2012, 2:46 PM | Article By: Adelaide Mendy

Whatever happened to being ourselves and not losing our identity? We can no longer make decisions without looking to see if it is in vogue. Uniformity seems to be the order of the day for most of us. What we need to realize however is this, assumptions will always be made about us. If could be based on the colour of our skin or the manner in which we dress or speak. So it’s your choice to either shine as you were meant to be or to gradually morph into someone you are not.

Individuality is a gift and not a curse, but it takes courage to see it through. In modern times, when our self confidence has taken too much of a bashing, we tend to retreat into ourselves, to lick our wounds in private, which is perfectly understandable and human. But when we allow the despair to overwhelm us, we lose the course of our being in the process. Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. Had a dream and he may not have lived to see most of it become reality, but because he was not afraid to make known his vision, he set the wheels in motion and now hundreds of thousands, probably millions of Americans are reaping the fruits of his labour and his work is carried on through the generation and the dictum of equality is preached everywhere. Some of us may not find our mortality at risk if we dare to stand up for our own personal ideals, but millions do every day. They lay their lives down for the common good, everyday to ensure a better world. So if they can, what’s our excuse? In the grand scheme of things, we have a lot less to lose. We must not allow anyone to dictate to us how to live our lives. Life is a luxury and it can be snatched away at a moment’s notice and sometimes, not even that.

I am as guilty as the next person of being a people pleaser, and the sad reality is, no matter how much of one’s self is given, it won’t ever be enough to please everyone. Not to get it twisted though, I am all for charity and making a positive change in the world. What I am referring to in this instance is the superficial aspects we seem to be so stuck on, and never more so than right now. What’s to gain by trying to be someone else, be they famous or not? There is only one of everybody for a very good reason, baring physical resemblance. Personalities and temperaments are not the same and you would only be cheating yourself out of living by suppressing who you really are. Do not short change yourself.

Every being has a distinct purpose for living. Do not endorse something you do not believe in just to fit in or because you believe it is what is expected of you. How can we ever hope to be responsible adults when we refuse to accept our core being and qualities? Insecurity might make you feel like you are less than enough, but that’s just part of life. It is never a smooth ride, often fraught with obstacles which must be overcome. Expecting to be one hundred percent happy all the time is just mental. Waking up in the morning is a challenge for quite a lot of people but incidentally, they do it all the same. Self pity is not the solution; in fact, it is quite a deadly feeling to encourage, as one ends up being dismal and not having much zest for life. When peer pressure is mentioned, it’s usually associated with teenagers, but most adults trouble daily to go up against the mould they have been cast in, and in the process grow tougher and thicker hides. There is only courage in trying again. Life is grounded on such a philosophy. Even when the going gets tough, one must keep on prowling on. Here is the good news; the power to change and be a better version of one’s self is within your grasp and that has to be enough. Find that one bright spot in whatever situation one find’s themselves in.

How you ever wondered why there is so much controversy in the world? Well, it’s simply as a result of conflicted emotions. There is room for everyone to reach out and achieve without necessarily being selfish or a sellout. Sharing is a must. But seriously, no one knows you better than you know yourself so trust your judgment rather that the ones made by others and forced on you. Take a step back for some serious re-evaluation is in order. More than anything dare to be different, dare to be you.