Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Perks of Being Original

In an age when great minds think alike or (as is often the case) dumb ones never differ, being original is no easy feat. Of course, it is easier for some people than it is for others, but generally we look to the person next to us for what to wear, what to listen to, what to watch and how to live. As a result, we all fall like dominoes into the same, usually uninteresting interests and in this manner build for ourselves a monotonous society. Most people associate “being original” with “being hipster”, the satisfying little notion that “I did it before it was cool”, but hipsters are simply very fit athletes in the race for the next big thing. Originality is not a mad scramble to be the first to create the next trend, but is the bold decision to be the person you are without altering yourself based on what others think you should be. It requires courage, a level of self-confidence, and even sacrifice. Allow me to cite a few of the heroes that championed originality:

Leonardo da vinci (1452-1519)
Told repeatedly that man couldn't fly,
he constructed a flying machine that, although 
did not stay in the air for long, was the first 
aircraft to be built in human history. Four 
centuries later, the Wright brothers built the first 
successful aeroplane. And 'they' said it couldn't
be done!

 Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
This famous author had an extremely hard
childhood and spent most of it in a workhouse
after his parents and three eldest siblings were
sent to debtors prison. He became successful at
the age of twenty, and through his works such
as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and
Great Expectations, caused changes to be made
in living conditions during the Industrial

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)
Though he was teased for his knowledge of 
science and punished for experimenting as a 
child, this young man brought us the lightbulb, 
the film projector, the early record player and
much more.

Tim Burton (1958-)
Bullied all the way through school, Burton
held on to his originality, and found
confidence in small things like doodling,
wearing odd socks and his infamous haircut.
He is now an award winning director and
has artworks in numerous museums all
over the world.

These are people who have grasped their originality. All throughout history, courageous men and women have realised their ability to inspire and ignite change by remaining true to who they are. The greatest weapon against monotony is originality. It's wearing spots when everyone else wears stripes. It's marching south when everyone is marching north. It's playing the saxophone when everyone else plays violin. And it's holding to a dream when everyone tells you it cannot be done. Hold on to your originality. Shine on you crazy diamond.

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