Live Against “Conformity”

“As long as I hear “normal” people telling me I am too childish, I know I’m doing just fine.” ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer … 

When considering Wayne’s words, I feel that I first must define the word “normal” as used in the above context. To me, I envision it as those who have tended to conform to the masses–to fit in with the majority around them. And although this definition leaves me with only a vague understanding of true normality, with it, I am able to draw a better picture of someone whom I may consider normal.

So why understand normal at all? Well here, Wayne is telling us that if a “normal” person informs him he is too childish, well then he is right where he wants to be. Personally, this analysis seems to be spot on–conformity is not a good word when it comes to living life fully. Because we are unique individuals, each with our own talents, trying to conform to others diminishes and hides our authentic selves. That is why we should celebrate our uniqueness, and never allow the critique of others to affect us in negative ways. Imagine how boring the world would be if we all were to try to be the same–the inventions that would never have come to be, the vaccines and technology that would remain undiscovered, the studies such as astrophysics and quantum mechanics that would never have come to be.

People who are normal often times feel lost in a sea of other people. This is a harmful distraction because it is difficult for us to find purpose and meaning in life when we lose sight of who we truly are. Therefore, we should never insult or chastise others for not fitting our idea of normal, and should instead encourage them and help them to find their genuine self. The more people who change their understanding of normal, the more support there will be for those searching for themselves.

Likewise we should not let others thoughts, opinions, and judgments affect us. Always remember that you are a unique and genuine person. Find that person and keep him or her close. You will encounter jealousy and envy, misinformation and lack of understanding, and others will tell you to “act normal,” but those individuals are not walking in your shoes. If I want to go running to relieve tension instead of drinking at the bar, then that is my choice. When all is said and done, children are quite ingenious with their acceptance of the world and other people, and their constant searches for adventure and wonder. It just might be exactly what we need to try to be a bit more like a child in our day-to-day lives.

Try to be a bit less “normal” today, and instead, a bit more childish.

Questions to consider:

Why do people tend to use the word childish with such negative connotations?

What kinds of things do you not do because you consider them childish–even if they would be tons of fun?

How many childish things do we avoid doing because we are afraid of what other people might say about us?

For further thought:

“To enter the Kingdom of Ideas, become as a little child. “There is nothing more resembles God’s eyes,” wrote Nikos Kazantzakis, “than the eyes of a child.” . . . . This we learn from the child: The more childlike we are in our approach to problems, the more creative we will be. Try the fresh approach of a child.” ~ Wilferd A. Peterson, Art of Living


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Filed under Commentary, Food For Thought, Living, Opinion

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