|The secret lives of men|
To know me is to know that I am not one for conformity, or one to follow a crowd aimlessly in any one direction. To know that I am opinionated and once convinced of something beyond reasonable doubt, my convictions are unmoveable, unshakable and underailable. So as I prepare to explore the concept of being uncommon, as a choice and indeed even a right, it is from a position outside the proverbial box that I begin.
To be common once meant that an individual was an average or standard person upholding the principles of propriety and morality / decency and having a generally honest and 'hard working' ethic and approach to life; down to earth yet lacking in great expectations or ambition. When I considered what it means to be 'uncommon' in today's society in all fairness I struggled a little to conjure a picture. The difficulty lies more in the status quo of the day where there is now so much liberality, hand outs and 'no blame cultures' that allow individuals to make excuses for their failings . There is less and less that is left to the imagination, that entices the mind to enquire further or captures one's interest. If you do not desire to do anything, the state will support your addiction to laziness, if you want to be self destructive the state will label you with a mental illness and tell you it is not your fault.
Education, achievement and respectability are optional extras to life rather than the rule. There is no longer a sense of looking to moral yard sticks to measure one's life and choices and individuals are encouraged to, 'just do it!'. 'It' being whatever action or activity that will deliver maximum self gratification and satisfaction with the least effort on the part of the individual.
I arrived at the conclusion that it is in fact uncommon to be common in today's society! Granted this is a syndrome most easily identified in western cultures however elements of it are in all modern day societies. The challenge is therefore two fold for the ambitious, self motivated 'go getter' today in that we are not simply fighting to rise above the 'pay check to pay check' style of life but also this modern culture of 'living by your feelings'. The result is that the strong manage to rise above the current social standards to achieve a 'common' state of life which is commendable in light of the challenges one faces when they have the option to do nothing at all and become a ward of the state.
Therefore to be 'uncommon' is to be remarkably more, decidedly better and exceedingly more accomplished than the average. One who cannot settle, will not accept circumstances as a barrier and who seek to set or raise the standards rather than fall in line behind those set by others. The imagery of a diamond in the rough comes to mind when we consider the 'uncommon person', yet by sheer determination they gleam bright enough to stand out in the crowd.
I recall hearing this saying that truly brings the point home; There are three types of people in life; those who see and do nothing; those who see and say someone should do something and those who see and act. I therefore conclude that to be uncommon is a state of mind, a disposition of the soul a decision each individual can make for themselves. The blessing of the modern society is that the barriers to accessing education and opportunities are less than they were in times gone by. So if you are tenacious, focussed and driven you can be whatever and whoever you want to be, the sky is the limit!
"It is my right to be uncommon. For I do not choose to be a common man,
If I can, I seek opportunity.
I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the government look after me.
I choose to take the calculated risk, to dream, to build, to fail or succeed.
I choose not to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to a guaranteed existence, the thrill of fulfillment to the state calm of Utopia.
I will not trade my freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout.”