The stencil of uniqueness, by Claudia Popa
“Individualism is rather like innocence: There must be something unconscious about it.”
(Louis Kronenberger, Company Manners, 1954)
I have always thought that within people lies an unfathomable fear of being themselves. Relying on the fact that masks can be easily replaced, being something we are not, we won’t be the ones to be considered flawed. It is a front put up, not because we wish to fake our personality. No, it runs deeper than that. It is our instinctual way, as socially addicted beings, of protecting the little self esteem that is needed to keep us going, for if people are only able to see our masks, they won’t be able to judge and criticize the real ‘us’. It is our sole way of not getting hurt in the place where pain would cause the greatest of damages.
However, this fear only gives way to an irrational train of thought that stops us from truly ‘evolving’ our inner selves. It raises steady walls all around us and in the end, adding mirrors to these piled up bricks, it creates the ultimate house of mirrors around our conscious minds. We strive to be like others, however, along the way of ‘fitting in’ and ‘self-protection’ pops up the terrifying idea that oneself might not set himself apart enough from the rest of our brethren, being swallowed up by the steady flow of the crowd. So all we end up doing is run around aimlessly, staring and taking on the amorphous forms we see in the dented mirrors that twist our beings in the most peculiar ways, instead of just leaving this madman’s house and look into a mirror that shows our true self.
But, why make things easier? We just go on stifling our true nature even when we think we aren’t. We wish to be amazingly unique. But in doing so, looking around us and without even being aware of it, we copy the people who we think are that way. There is nothing unseen and special in copied uniqueness. Dormant in our very beings is all we need to set ourselves apart from the rest, although, this ‘all’ can’t be brought to light by sheer will.
Therefore, in my opinion, it would require exactly the opposite: We should simply let it pour out through every pore, when and where it feels like doing so, for there is truth in Louis Kronenberger’s words. Consciously wanting to be a certain ‘something’ or ‘someone’ never truly works. I think that this can only lead to imposing the uniqueness of others upon ourselves, which does not make us unique in any way.
Acest eseu este castigatorul premiului special in cadrul 2012 Shakespeare School Essay Competition, grupa de varsta 15-19 ani. Premiul a constat intr-un voucher de reducere in valoare de 200 RON pentru un curs intensiv de vara de 2 saptamani la Shakespeare School, carti de la Fischer International si de la Carturesti si materiale promotionale de la Vitastal Consulting. O felicitam pe Claudia pentru eseul ei care s-a evidentiat din alte mii de eseuri trimise la concursul national de creatie in limba engleza organizat de Shakespeare School si ii uram mult succes in continuare!