Being Your Own Self – Patomi Yeptho, Asst. Professor, Dept. Of English

Living a mediocre life of following the crowd for fear of being criticized or ridiculed is as Aristotle says a life of nothingness. We try to be different keeping in mind the things that matter more to others than ourselves, failing to realise that we just need to be true to ourselves in order to stand out from the rest.

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”– Aristotle.

Being Your Own Self

“Life is too precious to be lived in mediocrity”. We are not making use of opportunities as well as we should, which results in us living in mediocrity. In order to avoid living in mediocrity the only thing we can do is ‘be different’. Unfortunately, many of us don’t dare to be different but rather follow the crowd and thus, we are trapped in mediocrity.  The only reason for this is because we care what others might say or what others might think about us and our actions. The moment we stop caring about what others might think or say, the moment we are free. Infact, people are too concerned about their own lives that they themselves do not have enough time to care for the rest.

People always do whine and complain about their lives and nothing ever seems to be enough. This feeling has become the norm. The reason behind this is because people are too scared to be themselves. In the end, it all comes down to following the crowd. They follow the crowd because they don’t have a dream or plan for future. There is nothing to inspire them or lead them to walk all alone on a different path but to follow the footstep of others. They follow the crowd because they just don’t want to take any risk and therefore they choose to play safe and in the end, they eventually end up regretting.
To walk all alone on a different path can be scary at times but we must realise that fear is a part of our life and cannot be easily eliminated. Many of us are afraid of being different. We are afraid that we might not be accepted by those around us. In many instances people have missed opportunities to do great things just because they are held back by fear. We can, however, overcome fear and for that we need courage. But again, courage doesn’t necessarily mean being fearless. It is about taking chances and making chances even when we are not sure of what the result would bring about.
To be different, we need to be ourselves. Most people are concerned with impressing others instead of being themselves. We shouldn’t waste time trying to impress other people. It is not about being indifferent but we end up losing our real identity. We are not being who we really are.  It is often when we are not trying to impress others that those are the times when we do the most impressing. We need to know who we really are instead of trying to be like someone else. Knowing who we are alone makes us different from the rest because we are different just being human. We also need to know what we really want. We often do things in favour of the crowd without asking ourselves what we want. The fact is that each and every individual is different from one another. We are unique and special in our own way and are truly one of a kind. It can be tiring at times to be who we are in an environment where everyone expects us to be someone else and to blend in. Knowing that our opinion also matters just as anyone else’s is the beginning of knowing ourselves. We need to voice out what’s on our mind without caring much what others might think.
Fitting in or blending into our environment will only lead to a monotonous life, whereas, trying new things or walking our own path rewards us with new and different perspectives of life. Walking in our own path is the result of avoiding mediocrity. This shows that we are independent and are confident of our doings.
The world doesn’t always work the way we want it to be. It is often the opposite and nothing is really as it seems. Many people are trying to do different things in order to be different from one another or mainly so as to impress others but these all result in being the same. Try to be normal, be yourself and that is the result of being totally different from the rest and so is the result.
“To dare to be different means being willing to stand out”. It is not an easy task. Many choose to fit in or blend into the background rather than stand out, thus, they don’t dare to be different. We should do what we like and it shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks or does. We naturally do things that are already approved, thus, keeping ourselves on the safer side which is good but we also should try out things that have never been tried. Taking risks will result in higher success or failure. If we succeed, we take our prestige to the higher level and if it goes the other way, we open up many ways to be different from the rest. In both the cases, we are benefitted. There is nothing to lose in trying to be different. The only thing we need is courage to overcome fear and make ourselves ready to welcome and avoid criticism.
“Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. For feedback or comments please email:”.  

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