How to be an Individual

Almost everyone in America wants to be an individual: the only, the best, the greatest, and so on. And being someone unique: someone that does not need to copy anyone else, that learns and discovers things in her own way, that sees things that only he can see, is very precious. But at the same time, everyone is a part of something else: your family, your town or city, your state, your nation, or the friends you have. If everyone just does what he or she wants all the time, it’s like a bunch of ping-pong balls bouncing around on a vibrating table: everything is bumping into everything else, and pretty soon there’s nothing but chaos, nothing but a mess.

But if the ping-pong balls each had a different color: some greenish-blue, some yellow-green, pale yellow or dark orange or any other color, then they could be put on the table and make beautiful patterns. Sure, the ping-pong balls would have to stay put in order to be part of the pattern: they couldn’t jump from one end of the table just because they felt like it, nor could they shove all the other ping-pong balls aside because they wanted the center space: that would destroy the pattern. But because each ping-pong ball’s color was unique, each would still be individual. And because each one agreed to be part of a pattern, they could make something beautiful by being together.

So the next time you are asked to do something in a group, just remember: if you have worked out your own individual color, you will help the group by being yourself. And if the group asks you to become a part of it, you don’t need to lose your individuality.

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