Being Different

Our society is generally considered to be a very blended, meaning that people of different ethnic, cultural, and personal points of view come together and do not let their  differences  come between them.  People are suppose to  accept those that are unique, those that break the stereotypical norms that our society created many moons ago.However this is far from the truth . More and more people who are considered ” different ” by society is not only outcaste but scared into fitting the mold of society. Even worse I that this not just happening to adults anymore. More and more children and teenagers are putting themselves and each other under  the stress and pressure to be like everyone else. While in our parents day it was common to  be pressured into wearing a certain article of clothing or act a certain way, our generation takes  peer pressure to a new level. Many  kids are pressured into hiding there sexuality , pressured to choose between their culture and what other students consider to be cool.  My question is , why is being different so bad?

The main  reason that I am writing is in response to a Humans of  New York post. the post was  a picture of a boy no more that 14 years old saying , ” I’m homosexual and I’m afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me “. This post was both extremely raw and shocking. The fact that a young person, barely a teenagers , knows that because he’s different  that it will affect his life drastically says a lot about the standards we uphold. Differences are suppose to bring people together. No one should be scared to share a love that is  not considered  normal because they are afraid of what others will do. Sexuality, religion, race, and class should not affect how you see someone. A person’s personality, their morals, how they are as people is what you should judge people by. By picking out certain parts of a persons story that makes them different and using that to say why they aren’t likeable is simply childish. We should be telling children embrace every single differences  that they have because that is what will make them a better , happier person.

This hit a raw spot in me because I know what it feels like for others to treat you differently based off what many consider a defect . Because I am physically disabled , my life has always been a sea of questions from my peers, ” Why do you walk like that ? Why do you have to wear a brace? Why do go to the doctors so  much?” were typical questions asked  by my childhood peers. Eventually those questions would turn into bullying by some, but that never bothered me. What bothered me  more than anything was when it came to theater. Many directors that I working with would not cast me in bigger leading parts, not because I was not good enough because I could out sing most of the other male leads , but because I was physically different. I was not strong enough to lift girls, or my  right side never matched my left when dancing . And as much as I did not want to admit it , it killed me that I would never be looked at equally  compared to my peers. Not until recently while in college did I realize that some directors are looking at talent, not just the right side of my body. In fact one of my close friends even told me to try and pursue acting because I am good  even if I am physically different.

Differences are what make us human. They differentiate us and make us unique . If everyone were to be exactly this same, then the human race would become one of those really bad sci- fi films where in the end we all realize that being ” normal ” is really, really boring .So instead of telling everyone to fit the mold, instead of making people hide who they really are, let them be themselves! Allow people to be unique, and do not judge them based on certain chapters in their lives. We are suppose to learn from one another, that is how we grow. So instead of telling someone to shut up ; listen to them,  understand them , accept them. Being different does not hurt anyone. Not being yourself does.

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