So I'm watching this pretty cool comedy called Modern Family and I stumble upon a couple of scenes that fit nicely with something that's been on my mind for a while. Not sure how well I'm gonna be able to get my point across. But here goes. Scene 1: In the dad's attempt to comfort his step-son, he brings him a poster that says: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger", to which Manny, the son and my favourite character on the show, retorts "That's not true. Lots of stuff that doesn't kill you makes you weaker. My friend's grandfather had a heart attack, now he needs a machine to breathe.”
This motivational poster of course reminded me of all the crap we see on Twitter and Facebook these days. Dalai Llama: "The road to happiness is a road best traveled happy." JFK: "If you don't love your enemies, you can't love your mother." RevOMG: "God is God and this is all we need to know." Why do I have access to all these lovely quotes? Because for some reason, people feel the urge to keep passing them around, like a general statement about life that a dude came up with is going to help them feel better about themselves. But I digress.
Back to Modern Family, Scene 2: Manny's gay half-brother is reassuring him after his own friends didn't invite him to the party they were throwing: "This is the funny thing about growing up. For years and years, everybody's desperately afraid to be different in any way. And then, suddenly, almost over night, everybody wants to be different. And that is where we win".
I hate to admit it but I was jealous of that quote. Yes. I was jealous of something someone said on an American sitcom. Because the more I interact with people, the more I feel that we are a long way from being there. I am realizing how little we have progressed in terms of accepting that which is different, whether we are teenagers or grown ups. Let's just talk relationships. If you're gay, single and not interested in marriage, engaged but to a person outside of your sect, married but not interested in kids, divorced (God forbid!) or have any other non-conformist attitude, you will always feel like an outsider. Because you are. Because you live in a society that does not embrace individuality.
Why are we so afraid to be different? Isn't that the only way we can achieve our full potential? How innovation starts?