Who wants to be a copy?


“A person is strong only when he stands upon his own truth,
when he speaks and acts from his deepest convictions.”
(Mikhail Bakunin, revolutionary anarchist)

Personal decisions – if we can call them that – are often based upon our misconceived need for social acceptance. Humans are social animals, we aim to please, wish to belong, want to fit in.

“I’ve been imitated so well, I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.”
(Jimi Hendrix, musician)

We wind up listening to music we don’t really like, studying stuff we don’t really like, taking on jobs we don’t really like and so on.

We follow other people’s passions instead of our own!

Our taste isn’t really ours. No wonder it’s often so bad: No identification, no engagement and low on positive emotions. And since it’s not our taste, we won’t develop any expertise either and are forced to follow forever, thereby turning into disgruntled, unmotivated beings.

“Only dead fish swim with the stream.”

Except for the rebels of course, who aim to stand out. Rebels are also convinced that one person can make a difference and they have the guts to try it. Deep down, we know that they are right, as movements generally start with one person and a vision. Just look at the big religions. Believers and majorities are not mass-produced in a laboratory, at least not yet.

Is our desire to follow trends or other people, in order to belong to the in-crowd and to be on the safe side, so strong that it overrides all other considerations?

Or are we just too lazy to invest the necessary time and effort to figure out what our very own likes and dislikes are?

Or are we afraid of what we might discover?

“Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized
codes of expression and conduct have the socially
recognized function of protecting us against reality.”
(Hannah Arendt, political theorist)

Are we worried that our likes might not be popular?

“To be independent of public opinion is the first formal
condition of achieving anything great.”
(Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, philosopher)

I can think of no good reason to try to be like other people.

How aspirational is it to be a herd animal?

This may be the age of the herd, but the desires of the herd are not necessarily the desires of the individual. We are born as individuals and shouldn’t live and die as copies.

“Wanting to be somebody else is a waste of the person you are.”
(Kurt Cobain, musician)

“When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma,
we become automatons. We cease to grow.”
(Anais Nin, author)

Change is possible, we can all be rebels.

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