We Americans are suckers for originality. Have you ever noticed how many products are marketed as “Revolutionary New!” or TV episodes that are “All-New!”? Computers are designed to create regular demand for upgrades with planned obsolescence. We sleep on sidewalks to obtain new gadgets, we pay premiums for primo stuff, we must have the latest: Fresh is best!
We demand authenticity and abhor duplicity in our institutions and public officials. We follow those who promise new solutions to our pressing issues. We expect immediate results, recovery, relief, and resolutions.
We adore creativity. We worship uniqueness. The value we place in self-esteem has risen to nearly a religious dogma. We deserve designer jeans for we have designer genes. Singularity is supreme!
We crave identity yet cave-in to the latest looks and gotta-haves in lock-step fashion. Why else are there big bucks in knock-off watches, lingerie and luggage?
We expect to be catered-to yet cater to the newest fad like sucklings on a sow. Why else do all the boy bands look alike?
We demand individual attention yet smother celebrities with ours, imitating their looks, clothes, haircuts and lifestyles en masse. Why else do we elect so many nips, tucks and trims of plastic surgery?
Why do we tolerate such personal duplicity? Why do we speak and act at distinct cross-purposes? Why are we not satisfied with being authentic? Why do we chase the still-born life of genuine imitation? This I don’t know.
I do know that double-mindedness is a dead-end. I know that my conscience does not lie and that I prosper when I heed its wisdom. And I know that integrity makes my identity both real and secure. For me, that’s how I gotta be me.
How do you declare your individuality?