What does this quote mean to YOU?

Late musician Kurt Cobain (1967-1994) was once quoted as saying:

"You laugh at me because I'm different. I laugh at you because you're all the same."

I think the quote perfectly captures a persistent problem in our society: That people are ostracized when they're noticeably different in some way from the mainstream.

This runs the gamut from virgins to non-drinkers, introverts to nerds, tree huggers to the extremely religious, childfree to vegan.

Herd mentality describes how people are influenced by their peers to take on certain behaviors, follow trends, and/or purchase products.

Whether you're contemplating which car to buy, whom to make your next doctor, or what constitutes trendy nowadays, you'll probably take your cue from someone else. It could be a friend, family member, or coworker.

The thought of someone who's a little different is unsettling for many people. That, in turns, drives us to do all we can to conform to societal expectations. We'd rather toe the line than risk rejection and embarrassment. Peer pressure isn't something we only encounter in high school. It follows us through our adult lives as well.

I have the utmost respect for people who buck the trend -- for those who go against the grain. There's nothing more empowering for standing up for what you believe in and not caving into pressure, just for the sake of being liked and accepted.

The fact of the matter is, no matter how hard we try to be liked by everyone, there will always be someone who will take issue with something you do or believe in. You may go to great lengths to please everyone but, in the end, please no one.

Isn't it better to be true to yourself? If people don't like the real you, why should they be in your life at all? If they don't pay your bills -- if they haven't been at your side during life's most trying moments -- why should you let them hold any sway in your life?

Let the real you shine through, and forget what others think. Be unique. Be yourself. 

What does this quote mean to you?

For more posts, please click here: How to Understand People.

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