Friday, September 19, 2014

Unique

Yes, I know this is kind of an obvious word for me. I have been blogging about uniqueness in different ways since I started this thing. Truth be told I could have picked the word umbrella to blog about and talked about how strange the weather has been here lately. However, I think I will stay true to form an examine what it means to be unique.


The word unique means one of a kind. There are ways in which each of us is unique. However there are those few people in life you meet who are truly unique. I may not be one of them. Sometimes I think all I do is copy others. I feel like I act differently around different people. Now maybe that's because different people bring out different sides of my own character. Perhaps things that I am not comfortable letting show around certain people come out around others because I don't care or because I think they would not be offended or hurt or angry.


I always liked that song "I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a b**** I'm a lover, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint. I do not feel ashamed." Except somehow I do feel ashamed. Perhaps I feel ashamed because I think I am more weird than unique. That being unique is something good, something honorable, which is not what I am at all. Not sure.


I have met a few people whom I consider unique in my life. I generally try to become friends with the unique people I meet and sometimes like to study them. It is good exercise for my character writing abilities to get to know unique people especially if they are unlike me. There seems to be a barrier, however to my getting to know some people because I have trouble being the initiator of conversation, or anything else to tell you the truth. Pretty much the only thing I can initiate is an argument. I'm extremely good at that. I can do it without even trying.


The converse side of being unique or everyone being unique is that much of humanity is very similar. For instance even the most open minded person has prejudices. Perhaps their prejudices are justified (it's not so bad to be prejudiced against murderers is it?), perhaps they are completely unfounded but they exist. I've learned so much about bias and prejudice in college because they try to teach critical thinking. The most open minded people are the ones who recognize their own prejudices and learn to look past them in order to find the truth.


 Psychology is an interesting subject because it is the study of people and how they react the way they do and if they will react a certain way. It's really interesting to study people and how they act and react as much for their uniqueness as for their similarities. It is even interesting to study the people that are written as characters in fiction. I think fictional characters are more predictable in a lot of ways than real people though. It is easy to see which direction a fictional character is going and what he or she might do next. I tried to understand my brothers and sisters and parents that way when I was younger but I put too much of myself onto them and ended up not understanding them or what they would do at all. Even the people closest to me I have trouble understanding and predicting. So I stick with fictional characters, because they are easier.


I do not know if you have to understand people to have friends and keep them. Perhaps to a certain extent you do. You definitely have to know the proper way to react to certain situations. Most people learn these from observation and I wouldn't say I'm totally inept at this art. Sometimes it is easy for me to read others and know how to respond, but other times it is extremely difficult. I wonder if this is because I did not have enough socialization as a child.


I think the more unpredictable people are the more I am intrigued by them though. As a writer and as an artist it is my job to study people and to be able to understand and render their emotions and predict their actions. I think that is why taking a psychology course was a good step for me. I also think that being open-minded is necessary for any artist or writer because bias and prejudice will wind itself into your writing and bind your characters so they cannot grow just as it binds you.


My boss said something interesting the other day. We were talking about why people get so adamant about religion and are willing to fight over it and get so angry when other people dismiss their beliefs. He said that people see their religion as a part of who they are. I think this ties in to uniqueness and that is why there are so many different religions in the world. There are even different types of atheists and agnostics.


I think that perhaps religion can be a divider but that it doesn't have to be. We can accept each other and live and let live. Because variety truly is the "spice of life" as the old saying goes and we will never stifle the uniqueness of others even if we become great (or not so great) leaders with many followers. Because people are going to think what they want to think. A certain amount of people can be convinced to think they way you want them to (I'm not talking about cults who use brainwashing but actually just people whose opinions are easily swayed) but they still have their own unique view of what you're saying.


So everyone is unique and at the same time no one is. We all seek answers to whichever questions are important to us. Some seek those answers in religion, some in science, some in art, some in history, but we all seek them. We all have weaknesses also known as faults. Speaking of those I just recently watched an anime in which one of the characters separated these faults into entities apart from himself in order to make himself perfect. However, he was less perfect without them as he became bland and unfeeling. The character was the antagonist of the series and when he finally had to face the truth about himself, that he had never grown or developed in character even though he had lived a very long time, that the thing he was seeking would never be his because perfection can not be gained without growth and learning from mistakes instead of trying to purge yourself of them, it was a very interesting moment.


This topic was also taught in my psychology class. The question was asked: if you could make yourself only feel the positive emotions, would you? I think there are people who would answer yes to this question without thinking. But the answer is no. The negative emotions are necessary to retain humanity. It's just a matter of controlling how they affect your actions. No one should let negative emotions entirely rule how he or she acts. We should all strive to keep our negative emotions from overpowering us. For instance, keeping hate from forming out of anger. I think our negative emotions are part of what makes us unique but at the same time what makes us like one another. For instance the so called seven deadly sins: wrath, envy, lust, gluttony, pride, greed, and sloth. Can any of us claim those do not exist within us to some extent? I know they exist within me.


In the end, perhaps I am not very unique. And maybe that's why I stay a nobody voicing her opinion for all the world to see even though few have interest in what she has to say.

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