E.E. Cummings once said, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
I find great truth in this statement. So great, that I truly wonder if most people understand what it means to be yourself. When you think about being yourself, what are the things you think of that set you apart from the rest? Who are you? That can often be a difficult question to answer, for humans long for acceptance, and sometimes acceptance wins over individuality.
See, we live in a world in which we are taught and bred to be a certain way, to act a certain way, to think a certain way. But does anybody stop to wonder why? For I see so many people going to great lengths to live by these rules, often resulting in great sacrifices. Even worse is the way we as a society instinctively act to those who take a more colorful path; we ensnare judgment, as a means to further outcast.
Judgments are plastered to the foundation of our society, and though everyone knows the pain caused from judging others, it continues to be bred within our day-to-day lives. Why is it that people find self worth in putting others down? How have we came so far, as to automatically have preconceived notions of opinions that we shouldn’t even weigh in on in the first place?
I often wonder if it’s the longing to belong, to fit in within, that leads us to judgment. Or possibly an insecurity of our own that we are unable to be happy for others, for it causes too much disdain on our own inabilities. There are a hundred reasons that people justify their inability to lift people up rather than put them down. But being able to recognize this is pivotal in being able to fight the hardest battle of your life.
There is great courage in those who dare to dream to think outside the box. Those who form their own opinions and thought spans. Those who want more for their lives than that of which they are told they could have. Those who choose to be brave against the odds.
I wish we could shift the perspective. To build a kinder and braver world, to get rid of the labels, these different factions that divide us: race, gender, sexuality, religion, wealth and so forth. I wish none of this mattered. To imagine the kind of world it would be to be unified in our humanity.
It takes true strength in our present day to choose to be true to you and live by those choices every single day. To fall back from the noise of fallacious judgments and choose to be free from the chains that bind us. I think what E.E. Cummings most certainly meant, was that you must be courageous against all odds, through the ignorances and hate. You must operate relentlessly with courage, with everything you have. For if not, what life are you truly leading? Who are you really being?
Never stop fighting.