Everyone claims that they know everything, or at least, more than they should. Later in life, we claim we know what we need to, and by late age, we know that we know nothing. This is regarded as true wisdom, but that isn’t the topic of this discussion.
Everyone has their own set of solid, unwavering beliefs, formed through their younger years, solidified in their young adult years, and tried and tested throughout the rest of their life. The points of creation, solidification, and trial may differ from person to person, but by a certain age, we all know what we believe, and we are unwavering on that belief.
Everyone has opinions, both gained through experience and told to us by family and friends. In most cases, told by others and refined through experience. Therefore, none of our opinions are entirely their own, and yet, we stand by them as if they are.
Everyone defends their opinions, their beliefs, and the knowledge, and most people will carry their beliefs to the grave. Who are you to tell me what to believe? Why should I change how I live when all of my evidence backs me up? People assume that defending their beliefs means standing firm, unmovable. A good handful of people think it is to attack the “intruder,” as we’ll call such a person. But why? Why is change so bad that you should defend against it? Why is it so terrible?
It may be an elementary point, but everyone fears change. Every time their beliefs and morals are challenged, they grow stiff and cautious. They harden themselves against any concept that might, just might, alter their views on life. How terrible it must be to find a better, happier way to live. How terrible it must be to learn that the last x amount of years were wasted.
Maybe that’s what everyone is thinking. Maybe I put too much into this lifestyle. To change it now, all of that would have been in vain. Well, no. All of that led up to this revolution, this idea, this new way to live. And all of it is propelling you closer to the concept of pure happiness.
But here, we have the fundamental problem: Everyone does all of this. We all criticize other ways of living, other religions (especially religions), while being completely immovable ourselves. And you may think “No, my way truly is the best way I know to live. I can change other people, and they’ll be happier.” Or maybe you think that this is your way, and no one will change this, and others will just have to find their own ways to be happy.
People say they’re willing to change, that if someone tries to show them a way they can be happier, that they will take that chance. We all tell ourselves this, but would we really? If we saw something better than what we had, would we even notice? And if we did, would we really be willing to take that chance, that maybe it won’t work for us?
Most people say yes. The ones who know themselves say no, just as everyone should say no. The problem is that we won’t change. Once our beliefs are cemented in our minds, there is no changing. No matter how much we claim we want to, we never really want to change. And this brings us around to the point of this discussion: How are you any different?
Well, I’ve had different experiences- Sure. Everyone has different experiences. But I’ve done things other people wouldn’t- Everyone has their crazy stories. I almost killed myself onc- Of course you have, it’s called being a depressed teenager.
You don’t fit into any stereotypes? That’s great and all, but everyone strives for that.
You think in ways no one else does? No one thinks the same way.
You are not different.
So what happens when someone knows they aren’t any different? Well, it’s the ones that aren’t caught up in this self-denial that will say that. They know that, fundamentally, they are no different from anyone else. So maybe this makes them different, but they won’t try to stick out in a crowd if they actually believe those words: “I am not different.” They’ll fall into all of the aforementioned patterns, because they won’t try not to. And if being different by claiming you’re not different means you give up, is that really different at all? Everyone else has given up, at one time or another.
You could argue that it is our personalities and hobbies that set us apart, but those both stem from the way we live, the way we’ve learned to live. And we all believe the same things, in the same ways, when we get down below the surface. Our personalities are essentially masks, and I could write an entire other post on how someone’s personality means nothing. In fact, I intend to.
So I ask you: How are you different?