As a minimalist and an advocate of simple living I often find my core values at odds with most of the modern world. I've always felt different - not the same as most people around me. I've written about it here and here.
There is nothing wrong with being an individual but beware; it can lead to feeling apart from others and to the illusion of being disconnected. There are two negative outcomes from feeling apart:
- We begin to feel isolated, different, and alone. With this we will begin to see others as a threat. Fear creeps in and begins to control our decisions. When we make fear based decisions we limit ourselves and our experiences.
- We begin to feel smug and superior. We lose our connection, our love, and our compassion. Before long our hardened hearts will feel empty and isolated and we are back to number one.
Although you may or may not conform to standard lifestyles and expectations, it does not have to translate into "I am an oddball don't fit in" - nor does it have to translate into "I am superior and above."
The bottom line is we really are not all that different. We have different levels of awareness and understanding. We have different roles to play and diversity is what makes this Universe alive and dynamic.
Even with our different levels of awareness and uniqueness we are not alone. We are all connected in this vast, ever-changing Universe. Better to be a part of it than apart from it.
Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living
Inter-connectedness, Inclusive, Zen Buddhism.