Living with the cost - and yourself.
In our first book, JALP, there is a poem in chapter 53 on pages 330-332. In case you haven’t read the book, or those pages, the following is that poem.
Beyond Conformity is about being different – as you’ve probably discovered! In our second book, FOPTA, you will frequently read about D’Different Ones, and in chapter 1, there is an explanation for this.
There is a COST to being different. A PRICE that has to be paid. This price cannot be reckoned in dollars and cents only. It will impact on our lifestyles in various and unique ways.
In the world in which we live, this cost cannot be escaped. You have to answer the question: “Am I prepared to accept, and pay, the price?”
The answer given will determine whether you take the first step – a requisite for any jourey we embark upon.
Being different can involve:
· being given a “name” that identifies your peculiarity e.g. an anti-vaxer, a holy roller, or a fitness freak.
· being avoided. People may pass you by on the other side of the road, or pretend not to see you. Sometimes, deliberately disown you.
· friendships that suddenly, or slowly, cool. People will cease using the personal pronoun “my”, as in “my friend…” and substitute a more impersonal “that woman…”, or “those people…”
· feeling lonely. Remember that guy, way back, called Elijah? He wasn’t exactly top of the pops when he told the king there wouldn’t be any rain for 3 ½ years! Then there was a showdown on a mountain – one against 450, plus hangers-oners. The one, won – but if he was in the king’s bad books, it was worse with the queen. She wanted his head! So Elijah ran, and kept on running, until he was alone in the wilderness, where he had a big moan, “I am the only one left… Just look what I’ve had to put up with… I’ve had enough…,” and to put the record straight, he was told that his work wasn’t over yet, and incidentally, there were at least 7,000 others like him!!
· being fearful. Afraid of peer pressure; of the “what ifs” we’ve talked about in both our books; of threats, and people saying things behind your back, especially when they’re not true; of all sorts of opposition or discrimination.
· the tactics of “systems”. These could include the obstructiveness of bureaucracy; intimidation; subtle forms of “blackmail”; threats of legal action; failing to divulge all you need to know.
Whatever else could be added to this list, being different means moving from the majority to the minority, which means going against the flow, and if you’re going to keep on going you have to stick your neck out and GO!
Just to cheer you up a bit, sometimes…. Just sometimes, “you” will disappear and become a “nobody”. You will have lost because, in a sense, you have betrayed yourself and the things that deep down within you, you know are right.
Maybe you’ve come across this sometime in your life:
Dare to be a Daniel;
Dare to stand alone;
Dare to have a purpose true,
And dare to make it known.
Beyond conformity… out of the mould… being different… has a cost, BUT IT'S WORTH IT. You will discover, whatever you think, you will not be alone - lonely maybe, but never alone. God has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us.