Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jumping Off The Bridge

Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art Of Non-Conformity, opens his book with these two paragraphs:
When you were a kid and wanted to do something your parents or teachers didn't like, you may have heard the question, "If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?" The idea is that it's not good to do something stupid, even if everyone else is doing it. The logic is think for yourself instead of following the crowd. It's not bad advice, even if it's sometimes used to exert control more than to support independent thinking.

But one day, you grow up and suddenly the tables are turned. People start expecting you to behave very much like they do. If you disagree and don't conform to their expectations, some of them get confused or irritated. It's almost as if they are asking: "Hey, everyone else is jumping off the bridge. Why aren't you?"
Yet again, the master has hit the mark. Everyone goes through it and no one knows when the line was drawn. All of a sudden we're supposed to fit into the standard cookie cutter: college grads, working right after, all supposed to help out in the household, all supposed to be home early to get to work on time the next day... The non-confirmist life of the child, the one who was told not to jump off the bridge when everyone else does, has turned boring and mundane.

I don't ever want to be that. I refuse to be normal, typical and everyday. I want to be extraordinary. And I suppose that's why I continuously write here. I find that my writing, somehow, makes me different from the rest.

Yeah, yeah, there are a billion and one bloggers out there, many of whom actually make sense. Then again, that's what makes me love this blog so much. It doesn't have to make sense every time. Entries don't have to fit the title. Thoughts of crazy are always welcome.

I guess what I'm saying is, don't fall for the trap of the cookie cutter. Sometimes, a good leap off the bridge every now and then gives you an excellent view of the horizon.

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