The mock of shame


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We live in a culture that suggests “thinking differently” and standing out from the crowd is a good thing, and yet we are often guilty of poking fun of anything or anyone we come across that is “out of the ordinary”.

Perhaps it’s because anything different is an easy target, a conversation starter, and an opportunity for any of us to make obvious observations…

“Oh my god. Look at that person’s…”
“Look at the weird way they…”

We may think we are being funny, but we often state these observations in a way that is critical — and not complimentary — to the person being observed. The fact that these aren’t the sort of things we would feel comfortable sharing verbatim with the person directly is a clear indicator that they’re being said at that person’s expense.

If you truly do admire independent thinkers and those who are true to themselves, remember this the next time you come across someone or something out of the ordinary. It means someone is choosing to be themselves despite immense pressure to fit in and be just like everyone else.

It takes a great deal of courage and confidence to be one’s true self and — as long as someone isn’t harming themselves or others in the process — it should be applauded, not mocked.

If you truly appreciate uniqueness in others, learn to express it in a positive way. Don’t be the person that says they believe that people should be themselves, but when presented with someone or something different, uses it as an opportunity to make fun of that person.

The qualities that make someone unique should be respected — even admired — not ridiculed.

Unique people often have coolest stories. And it might just be that if you knew the reason behind someone’s display of independence, you’d find it inspiring and worthy of praise, not mockery.

And perhaps that “weirdo” sitting behind a laptop in a cafe for 8 hours a day, multiple days in a row, is a badass with an awesome backstory and you just don’t know it.

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