As unique as the rest of the world


You know how they say, everyone is unique? They mean of course the tone of their voice and the color of their skin, the beauty of their appearance and of their soul; they mean as well as the flaws in us and the imperfections in them, or the insecurities of all, though common but never the same as they lead us through a travesty of such things that seek to make sense of all our lives. And yet we do not fail to falter. At every step of our lives, in each minute of existence, these one- offs do us proud sometimes and miserable at other.

Celebrating the uniquity of all seems like a world rooted in ’empowerment’. Particularly in the modern times, when we compulsively need such terms as body neutrality or more consciously assertive ones like living the ‘zen’ life, the individuality of every single soul inhabiting the world is sought to be attached more than a due importance. Because that indeed is the worth of life in all that it comes to mean. In simply being present, in encompassing a whole world of exclusive identity within you, you tend to be the most specially unique individual on earth. And so is every other who has come to amass in them a life in all its (ridiculous) ratings.

Striving therefore for what is offbeat or not in conformity with the norm is so much the driving force that after some time, the continuity of the norm ceases to exist. In our pursuit to emerge as different and do things the way no one else does it, we create for ourselves a space that we ironically need to conform to now. In finding ourselves overriding the very basis of what we were trying to cut away from, we convert instead in manifesting us the same as others. After all, if all we want to be is unique in a way that stems from not what we do but rather from what we don’t do, aren’t we all reverting back to an understanding of life that has no concern whatsoever with who and what we are really like?

Our uniqueness, it seems, has evolved to be a definer of ourselves and not the definition of us. There’s no wrong though in not wanting to mix in with the crowd. What’s perhaps not as right is being dazed so much with the idea of emerging as unconventional that we forfeit all acknowledgement of the standard. In taking pride in our own abilities to identify as special beyond what our existence already renders, it’s important to not lose sight of the reality that not everyone is created equal. In fact, it is also this persistence of inequality that enables us to blossom in all our uniquities in the first place. Looking down upon others because they do not pursue the desire to be one of their kind is therefore not the way you celebrate your specialties, but rather disregard the very worth of life that which created you differently capable than others.

This however is just one view of what the urge to be as different from any other as possible can spell for us. Not so rosy is the life that spans out for those who are ordinarily unique, or the individuality of whose persists more in their essence as humans. Even when this facet of the population might be no lesser talented than others, there still might be something in their spectrum of existence that does not allow them to emerge as the best and most unique version of themselves. And it isn’t always about a lack of will power or an aversion to hard work that stands in the way of them realising their potential and living up to it. The nuances of what spells a not so remarkable existence for some lives, in the greater view of the world, are far more rooted in complex simplicities than what we tend to make out of them. Whatever the reasons might be or however unreal the factors governing also such aspects of the world might come across as for those too lauded in their idiosyncrasies, the fact remains that the mere ‘commonness’ of them does not render such lives any less worthy than their contendingly ‘superior’ counterparts.

It though is easier to assert the importance of all and sundry than it is to put it in perspective, particularly for one’s own self. For someone who have grown up with the idea ingrained in the world that you are worth nothing if you are not worthy in a special way, the going gets tough as they try to see eye to eye in the real world. Derided often for their existence that does not in any way exhibit flashes out of the ordinary or even dismissed straight away in their rather unremarkable lives, these are the people, still special enough in their worth as individuals, but not deemed especial when it comes to asserting who they are. Worse still is when such souls happen to be as apathetic to their own ‘plight’, not caring much for accomplishment nor seeing any sense in external validation, but only up to a point of time in their lives when all that compare and contrast eventually starts getting onto them. As they therefore try to make sense of this obsession with projecting oneself as one of their kind, even when by nature they all essentially are that much different, what they discover is an even messy way of existence that perplexes them further. Unassuming as they are in their way with life or perhaps, even indifferent to what for them might not hold such importance that can drive them to seek out things with ardent zeal and devotion, the intensity of what transpires for them as still only a futile reclaiming of the professed magic of life leads further into despair and a sense of worthless that is inexplicable no doubt but also as much unbearable in its graveness. The chasm widens for them as they stand at crossroads very often, unable to conform to the greater world idea of compulsively harbouring a different identity while finding also at times wanting to jump into the unique bandwagon for once, even if just to try and make sense of the lives that are so celebrated and chased after.

Do you blame then these ones for whom uniqueness is not a natural way of life? You certainly don’t. But in rooting for the offbeat, in cheering the special every time, the world indeed lets down these folks who do not aspire to be different. Whether they are plain disinterested or not in such qualms is another matter of concern. What perpetuates though in alienating such commoners from the individualistic mainstream is a kind of inconsistency that somehow berates the essence of life. Branded as losers because they fail to gain traction of what life should be like because they like it their way or even because they have battles to deal with like everyone else and remains absorbed in them to a greater extent, not regarded in esteem since they do not have it in them to ‘make it big’, frowned upon at for their desire to take life as it unravels and not strive for etching out shining destinies, or showered with sighs because they could not do anything with their lives, these are the lives that lose it out in the battle first against the world and later even against themselves. Perturbed as they are by their own indifference as by the more than intense keenness of the world, they begin to see themselves in lesser worth and start finding faults within their own, the imperfections once they embraced as the definers of them emerge now to taunt their identity. Incoherent in their line of thoughts and actions, discerning a whole world of undesirable attributes in their person, their minds reside in a conflict of wanting to break away from its innate conditioning but struggle to discover a hold in the desired zenith of what would be a truly worthwhile existence. As they try to pry deep into the psyche of others, they lose their own peace of mind: in the surprising vulnerability they now have come to fear, they believe themselves to be incompetent against the more blessed souls of the world. The jibes and the ridicules get onto them as menacingly as grudges build up within themselves against their own, for being so different but not in the way the world would come to reward them in. Their outbursts of emotions, that come to sway over in such aggressiveness, leave their souls battered and bruised, making them even more susceptible to the perils of being downed in despair of not being able to cater to the uniquities, ironically though in all the basics. Unable to come to terms with the requirements of the world nor being able to forge an understanding in their own of the ways of life, they live through their existence as listless identities, awaiting perhaps only a release from this vortex of perplexing worthiness. As they find the vagaries of life so unbearable that they begin to entertain the idea of slipping away into oblivion once and for all, another facet of this whole irony comes to play, of manifesting oneself in such uniquity only for it to eventually lose it out when it comes to living life.