Have you noticed that we, like our houses, are beginning to look alike. We walk alike, talk alike, wear the same styles and listen to the same music. No one wants to be “different, after all. We and our houses are becoming like the Ticky Tacky that we sing about.
Like Ticky Tacky?
“Oh, no,” you may be saying, “we don’t have to be alike. We’re free to be whomever and whatever we choose.” As human beings, we have freedom of choice and most countries in today’s world allow us to exercise some degree of freedom. But sometimes we don’t exercise it. Think about it.
Have you heard any of these statements or questions before?
- Why can’t you be like your sister/brother?
- Don’t color outside the lines.
- We ALWAYS do it THIS way.
- Why don’t you follow the rules?
- Don’t you think you should dress like everyone else if you want to fit in?
- Why can’t you be like everyone else?
- If you want to fit in you need to …
- If you want to be a part of our group you need to …
We’re hearing a lot about “authentic self” these days and it’s time to pay attention. George Orwell, in his book 1984, described a society run by “Big Brother.” No one dared question or deviate from what the government required. In a way, it seems we have almost done that voluntarily. Only we are slaves to some unknown “they” or to the media, that tells us how to look, how to feel and how to be. We want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and so we capitulate—we give up part of who we are and what we can do to fit in. We become “less than” in order to belong. Children learn early in school not to be the “smart kid.”They don’t want to get teased or picked on. How sad is that?
But greatness doesn’t come from playing follow the leader nor from conforming to what you are told by the media. Remembering the “bell-shaped curve” and knowing the small percentages that are on either end of it. It is safe to say that the majority are followers. But what are you? Where do you fit?
Are you at the top of the intelligence charts but lost in the mob of mediocrity? There is nothing wrong with being “average” unless you have “above average” gifts and abilities.
There’s a song called “Little Boxes” written in 1962 by Malvina Reynolds about the housing developments like Levittown and Daly City. It can apply to other things as well. Read the lyrics and think of the “ticky tacky” that may have surfaced in your own life.
You can hear a brilliant version of it by watching the video below.