Cultivating your character is more significant than you realize. Those you choose to guide and support you will determine your stability and success. Individuality is priceless. A compromise of your most precious attributes will dilute your accomplishments.
When developing a vision for your future success, the ability to adapt and correct is vital. As you learn, what you know and what you think you know will leave you the most vulnerable. It is kind of like walking across a bridge over a vast ravine, and you get that unsettling feeling in your stomach before reaching solid ground again. What your bridge is made out of will determine whether you will fall victim to the weaknesses you know you have, or have triumph over them. Nothing exposes weakness like growth and success, and nothing wrecks like self-sabotage and capitulation. To trade integrity for social-safety can only lead to defeat.
Success is a magnet for looters, no matter how miniscule the advancement. People will see what you have to offer, and take every advantage of it. Those that want to lead you can aim to make you a clone in order to live vicariously through you. They cannot be you, and you cannot be them. In the movie The Devil Wears Prada, Andy (Andrea) is manipulated by her boss, Miranda, to the point of isolating herself from every precious person and value she has. Just when someone thinks they know you and that they’ve made you what you are, the conversation resembles something like this:
Miranda: I can see a great deal of myself in you. You can see what people want, and what they need, and choose for yourself.
Andy: I don’t think I’m like that. I couldn’t do you what you did.
Miranda: But you already did.
Andy: I didn’t have a choice.
Miranda: Oh no, you chose. You chose to get ahead. You want this life, those choices are necessary.
Andy: But what if this is not what I want. I mean, what if I don’t want to live the way you live.
Miranda: Oh don’t be ridiculous, Andrea, everyone wants this. Everyone wants to be us.
Misery loves company. If they only see what they want in you as a reflection of themselves, it will hinder you; if they see you, it benefits you both. Philosopher Aristotle stated, “My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.”
No one else is quite like you. That’s valuable because what you have to contribute cannot be duplicated. No one says something the way you can communicate it, and no one can perceive the way you observe information. What you have to offer is essential simply because cannot be done by anyone else but you. Anything that discounts your individuality will slowly make the most exquisite things about you irrelevant. No matter how much you look like someone else, sound like someone else, act like someone else, you’re not. No one will start where you begin, and no one will end where you finish.
That priceless core you carry and strive to preserve is so pure that it cannot come from you. It is so ideal that it is above your capability to curate, or even imagine it. The Judeo-Christian perspective asserts that the likeness you are made in is God’s, and God’s alone. A piece of an infinitely superb essence is finitely expressed through you. It can gradually either be nurtured or forfeited by every choice you make.
When a society collectively agrees to ignore or override the most valuable underpinnings of the human condition, such as life, order, purpose, integrity, coherence, destiny, etc., the will to do good by one another is utterly lost. Aristotle also asserted, “The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.” Voiding these foundations makes it impossible to extract the best out of our days of chaos.
A step taken without honor is a step backward. Once actuated, the outcome is warped. It will not result in anything effective, but will create a loss of reason and direction. For the sake of your individuality, cultivate decency.
By: Rosemary Dewar