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The Groove - Delighting in our differences
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It’s not always easy being different. I’ve come to enjoy my uniqueness now that I’m older, but when I was in high school, it wasn’t as easy to be comfortable in my own skin. It takes a certain amount of bravery and self-love for people to truly be themselves, no matter how out of the “norm” it may seem. 

Everyone is different in their own ways, but some break the mold more than others. I have much respect for individuals who are willing to undergo harassment, judgment, stares and misunderstanding to remain true to themselves. 

In a small town, judgment and misunderstanding are often the result of being unlike the majority of the population. People who have an opposing belief system, sexuality, religion, skin color, disability or even style are viewed as odd in the eyes of others. 

When people put others down, it’s typically due to that person’s own internal issues and insecurities. I don’t understand spreading negativity. There’s no need to spread hate when the world can already be hard on its own. 

Societal norms are peculiar things in the first place. I sometimes wonder who decided to set guidelines on how to look, who to love and what to think, and why they believed they had the power to do so. As human beings, we’re all different. Some people feel more comfortable being different behind closed doors, while others embrace it and share it with the public. 

When we begin to separate ourselves from people who are unlike us, we risk missing out on meeting someone who could be a truly wonderful person and bring happiness to our lives. We also miss out on seeing different sides of an issue, learning new information and taking part in diverse experiences.

If we could only see the internal spirit of others, what a difference it would make. Most of our viewpoints would be completed changed. The most beautiful people aren’t that way because of their physicality, but a light which shines from their innermost being. We’ve created a skewed belief of perfection, which doesn’t exist, with most of the focus being based on outside looks. We‘re much more than that. 

It saddens me to think how we sell ourselves short by only being concerned with the physical aspects of people when there’s such an immeasurable amount of beauty we could experience if we took the time to look past our differences and delve into the soul, mind and heart of a person. 

Our differences make us unique. I refuse to try to behave or look a certain way to make society feel more comfortable and content. I hope others feel the same and continue to live the life which makes them the happiest, regardless of what others may think. 

If you feel alone due to your differences, I hope you realize there are many other different, magnificent “weirdos” who are similar to you and will welcome you into their tribe, accepting you just as you are.

Standard reporter Atlanta Northcutt can be reached at 473-2191.