I was in the 3rd grade when I saw something, something which seemed very unusual to me at that time. A friend of mine chose to abandon her canvas because of being judged by a group of girls from our class. This wasn’t something I was used to seeing. Soon, such things became very frequent, apparently even walking with a certain group of people made you superior to the others. It was like a contagious disease, which was spreading at an alarming rate as we grew. Well, I wasn’t immune so it got me too; I was infected just like everyone else. Till the 6th grade, it had completely taken over. Everyone was so concerned with being accepted by the ‘society’- in this case, a narrow band of naive adolescents, pretending to know more than they did- that it made them trash their ambitions or aspirations. 

As kids, we were given clay in a particular shape. Moulding it into a recognisable shape was a choice left to us. We could shape it any way we wanted to, keeping in mind the desired result.

The situation here was somewhat similar to the one above. Society made us believe that being accepted gets you to a revered rank, and being divergent only earns you disgrace.

Nearly all of us have experienced this. Everyone wants to feel accepted; most of us want validation of our mere existence. But why? Why don’t people want to be recognized as unique? Why do they have to change their goals in order to “blend in”?

Isn’t it better to stick out like a sore thumb? Isn’t it nicer to stand out from the 7 billion other ordinary lives we have to share the planet with?

Don’t blend in, stand out.

~Tarusha Singh, Scottish High International School, Gurgaon


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