Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Become a Lion

A high school teacher gave her students an activity at the end of the year. She instructed them to write their opinions of each other on pieces of paper and share them anonymously. It was a strong focus on the opinions of others. At the end of class, one young woman tearfully shared with the teacher that some of the students wrote horrible things about her. The teacher's response: "Maybe you should think about it; maybe there is something to what they're saying."

It's difficult for youth to become lions, to roar in the face of others' opinions, especially if those opinions are reinforced by a trusted adult. It's not much easier for those of us who are older either. Especially since we often trust those who offer the opinions. Part of our social nature is wanting to be good citizens, to think well of others and to have others to think well of us. Society operates smoothly because of that desire. Yet we must temper the strength of that desire so it doesn't box us in, provide a sense of not belonging, stop us from embracing our individuality and unique expression.

I love the sense of freedom when I let go of that particular concern. The opportunity to stand aside from the crowd, to be a totally singular expression of humanity, is that roar within my heart. My goal for the remainder of the year is to remain as creatively myself as I can.

How do you express your creativity? Do the opinions of others affect you? (be honest!) How? What can you do to diminish the effect?

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