Friday, 23 November 2012

Be daring, be different, be impractical


Cecil Beaton said  “Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”

I love this quote.  I feel different nearly all of the time, the only place I feel the same, or normal, is when I am with my husband, children, sister,  Mum and bestie, and they certainly aren’t normal so I suppose that confirms I am not normal either.  I’m not so good at being daring or impractical ... yet, but I’m working on it.  I hope our children have inherited our ‘not normalness’, and they grow up to be imaginative and daring.  Who would want to be a creature of the commonplace?

Most of my life I have limited myself to only spending time with people that I deem different, impractical and fun, the ordinary and serious seemed so dull.  However as I grow up I am starting to think a) I may actually be very ordinary and fairly serious and b) maybe nobody is ordinary, and everybody is a little different, so I could in fact enjoy the company of a much broader cross section of the community.  Interesting, sounds good in theory but I am yet to see how it will be applied in real life.

 M. Scott Peck said “Share our similarities, celebrate our differences”, this idea intrigues me, just because people don’t agree with me, or even really appeal to me, doesn’t mean I have to instantly dislike them.  I am also starting to discover that I am not always right, I know gasp in shock!! I am starting to think that often there is no right thought, feeling, opinion or idea and all these things can change regularly.  I am trying to embrace and accept the beauty of the mystery of life, I don’t feel so compelled to convince people of my way of thinking, I don’t know very much at all, so I would be better off keep my mouth closed a little more often and my ears open.

As a society how do you think we cope with differences?  I think we generally feel uncomfortable with different.  People with different beliefs, thoughts and ideas challenge us to think and make us consider other options.  People who choose to live their lives differently, educate and raise their children differently, worship differently, love differently, dress differently; they can all be confronting, it makes us think we might be doing something wrong, we feel threatened.  Natural instinct is to dislike, discredit and disagree.  It is only our own insecurities that make us unable to handle and accept different.

It helps me to remember that the person who is different is generally not being different to antagonise me, annoy me or change me, often they are just being themselves.  They see the world a little differently, they have had different experiences and relationships and different things are important to them.  I am convinced the different is all part of the perfect plan, I just have to accept it.

So I am going to try so much harder to open my mind, not change my values, but not be so dismissive and derogatory of different, a very big challenge for me.