I never quite realised what being ‘different’ meant. It always seemed to have a negative connotation connected with it. Until someone pointed it out to me. “You are different”. Not in a demeaning way, in an appreciative way. It made me think about how many people in the world are “different”, but also believe that that word has a negative meaning. How many of today’s mental illness are simply our inability to understand, or tolerate, this diversity?

To anyone out there who is struggling with thinking they do not fit in, you probably don’t. And that’s probably a very good thing too. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. As a girl in my early 20s, I should not be doing what I am doing. I should be entertaining myself mindlessly, not caring that the eco-systems of the world are on the on the verge of collapsing. I shouldn’t care that so many souls are lost and suffering, or that our society is about to self-destruct from greed and self-interest. I shouldn’t care that people are mindlessly destroying their own lives through poor health habits. I shouldn’t care that love now means appearance and gain, instead of real connection. But I do care. So I am doing something about it. I am not on the street protesting loudly. I am silently refusing to be mindless, to be stupid, to waste this beautiful life.

So while “normal” people continue on a path of approved and encouraged destruction, I will be reading my way into empowerment, making connections between information and sharing that knowledge.

If my search for meaning makes me happy, then that happiness is my rebellion. My search for beauty in the world opens doors to nature’s own masterpieces. My search for love defeats the pull of hatred and greed. I free myself from the attempts of control by making my life my own work of art. That is important to the world, even if no one sees it.

Yes, maybe I am different, but so are many others. Until we learn to give them space to develop their own creative talents, their world changing potential will be crushed. Now, more than ever, we need that potential. So please be gentle – your judgement might stop someone from changing the world.

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