Don’t be Afraid to be Yourself
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” –Oscar Wilde
Now, more than ever, it is especially important to be able to form our own opinions and beliefs while sticking to personal, individual values.
It is easy to follow along with everybody else; to quiet your own voice in order to fit in and to subdue your opposition to not cause an argument. But, when this happens, fewer ideas and less common understandings become present.
Research what is happening in the world around you, on campus and in the community. Read books and sources of conflicting beliefs and build your own ideas. Stop relying on the information and people directly in front of you to form your opinions around. There is beauty in opposition and in having the ability to be your own voice amongst a widespread sea of thoughts.
Understand that having opposing opinions does not always mean arguing, that disagreeing does not create enemies and that speaking out does not always mean that you are wrong. This type of sharing is needed in order to move forward, in order to make compromises, and in order to become aware of each other’s thoughts and beliefs.
When people do not speak their minds or stand up for themselves, nothing can change. Try to understand when someone does not agree with you; you come from different backgrounds, and you have different stories and experiences that helped get you to where you are today, and that helped form your opinions, rooted in your deeper values.
Form your own opinions and stick to them. Do not let your values and beliefs collapse just because you disagree with someone. Speak up for what you care about and for what you find to be important. Keep fighting for your passions.
While doing so, respect that you might not always be right. Be able and willing to admit that you are wrong when it applies. It takes courage to be able to see this, and it is not wrong to step-down, if you feel a change in heart or passion.
Allow others to understand where you are coming from and do the same to them. Open yourselves to have conversations about controversial topics, share ideas and learn from the other side. Learn how you both came to your own opinions, learn why others’ think the way they do and try to better understand why there is opposition to begin with.
Appreciate yourself person, be your own person, find your own opinions and fight for yourself, even when nobody else will.