Don’t be afraid to be different but positive.
Different and positive? At first it’s easy. Then it gets harder and harder, untill you in the end you give up either being different or being positive — or both.
At first, you feel excited. Like a little child you jump up and down out of joy, you have discovered something new and want to share it with everyone. Look, one can run marathons barefoot! Look, one can memorize thousands of numbers! Look, happiness is not in buying more stuff!
You tell everyone, too excited to notice that most people don’t care or don’t want to hear. You show them, you give them all the evidence you have, you do your best to convince them that this new-found truth of yours not only is The Truth, but also will do them good, and you make jokes about the others, those who haven’t realized what you just realized, at least not yet.
You feel different, but that’s part of it, that’s one of the reasons you are giddy: you have discovered something almost no-one else has even heard about, you know something important a select few in the world know, you’re so so avant-garde it’s almost painful. Your excitement also comes from the fact that in ten years, twenty years, you will be able to tell your children that you were among the first who discovered this Truth. Of course you’re different, but it’s only temporary.
But it takes time, doesn’t it? It takes time to convince others, and sometimes it seems they don’t want to be convinced at all. Teaching your old aunt how to walk barefoot in snow? She has no intention of even trying, and no excitement in the world can make her change her mind. The more excited you are, the more arguments you have in favour of your Truth, the less she budges.
But auntie… No! I don’t want to hear a word more about your crazy ideas!
You like being different. But not forever. You like doing things others don’t. But not if the most common reaction you get is negative: people shaking their heads, sighing, calling you crazy or asking you why you can’t just be normal.
And often, the Truths you discover turn out to be less than that for others. They refuse to see what’s just ahead of them, or in other words: you can’t convert them. They remain converted to their own rigid beliefs, and little by little you begin to lose faith that they will ever stop ridiculing yours.
Your positivity starts to wane. Your excitement fades. Wasn’t it The Truth after all? Was I wrong?
You become thin-skinned. You can’t stand it when someone criticises your truth; sometimes you can’t stand a neutral question or even a positive comment.
Was I really wrong?
It takes a strong back to be different. It takes enthusiasm and excitement and a kind of narrow-minded conviction that you have found The Truth — at the very least your Truth. But only saints and psychopaths can fight against non-believers forever, undaunted.
In the end, you give up. You lose faith in your Truth, even if you somehow still believe in it. It takes too much to keep the faith. You stop being different. It’s easier that way. Or you stop being positive: you can’t change anyone’s mind, but at least you can still keep your Truth. You lose your excitement, you plan when to jump out of joy and when to keep both feet on the ground, you try not to start a discussion about the topics you wan to talk about more than anything else.
You can talk normally with your aunt again. You become the wrong kind of adult again. The boring kind. Order restored.
Untill you find your next Truth. Then it starts all over again.
No aunts were intentionally insulted in the making of this text.