I understand why being different requires ‘daring’. Whether by design or by accident, when one leads a life that is different, there are many challenges that require strength of character to overcome. I’m not even talking about leading a very dramatically different life. Even the simple differences that set you apart from the so-called ‘norm’ can make you feel excluded or like you don’t fit in. Many times there are random differences like someone who is single vs. married, or culturally different, or doing a different line of work, or families with kids vs. without. People don’t mean to be mean or elitist but most people tend to flock to whatever or whoever is familiar. So if you don’t fit in completely then you will feel out-of-place. I guess that’s why people try to “keep up with the Jones’s” since it often becomes easier to play that game than to feel like the odd one out.
However, I think daring to be different is not a bad thing. I think the world can’t be made up of all the same types of people who lead the same type of lives and buy the same types of things. First of all it is not possible given different financial circumstances, but it would also be very boring. I think those who dare to be different challenge the rest to dare to accept them. They put people to the test to see if they are willing to see beyond their society’s cookie cutter images. If they do then sometimes it will broaden their thinking and tolerance and teach them more about people and the world. If they don’t, then that’s okay and those people may not have the openness to accept.
We are social beings and therefore most of us do long for acceptance. So of course it can be hard not being part of a group or a pack. That setting provides security but it can also hold us back. Maybe it is nice to meet all types of different people who don’t fit in to any one group but are tied by the thread of friendship and acceptance. Often those people make your life richer and make your mind more open. Whether it’s by choice or by God’s will, I salute all those who dare to be different and I hope my children will feel that way too!