Monday, October 25, 2010

What makes me unique?

"...A storm’s come and a tree’s snapped
A bone’s broken and a page’s closed
A life’s changed and a prayer’s said
I’m stronger and I’ve come of age."

Most of the separate characteristics that make up my personality are generally repeated everywhere and throughout the ages. There is a wide spectrum of human behavior which are amazing in how they are reproduced and can be found in any geographical or chronological setting transcending culture or even tradition.

People use the cliché “No two people are same” very often without thinking about it. However, there is more to being unique than just having a unique set of DNA. What makes a person unique then is the unique mix of these generic traits and a person’s approach to life. Though human behavior is generic, no two people find themselves consistently in the same set of situations or face the same set of opportunities. The way your nature reacts to your own personal and peculiar emotional and physical environment is what makes you unique. Uniqueness is that one thing that makes you stand out from the crowd, that one thing that sets you apart.

In order to determine the particular trait which makes me unique, I have asked myself a few questions to determine what it is I do differently from the crowd around me. What is that unique thing that I do which gets results each time? I have come to the conclusion that what makes me unique is in my uniqueness itself. Being myself is what makes me unique. Being myself is what gets me results each time.

Sadly, when we look around us not too many people are true to who they really are. A lot of people want to be accepted and even loved, as a result, they display behavior which they assume would make them more likeable. Most people are afraid of rejection and ostracism. Some of these people end up achieving the opposite effect. It is interesting though to note that those few who have learnt to be true to themselves and their innermost convictions shine like bright lights in a dim world of deception and pretentions. My uniqueness is in the fact that I am ‘me’. I have recognized that there is only one ‘me’ and have decided to do those things which come naturally and feel right in my heart.

The one trait that I think is most evident as unique and peculiar to me is my resilience. Resilience as a character trait is not unique on its own, however, no other person has had to face the same set of difficulties or opportunities that have been peculiar to me. I am RUBBER-BAND.

There have been situations when I could have easily given up but then decided to see the situation through to the end. If I had a personal maxim, it would be “if you stare at a problem long enough it will blink first”. The interesting thing is no difficulty actually lasts forever. One day it will become history, your own personal history, to talk about, to write about or to educate people about. I have found that each time I find myself in a difficult situation what keeps me going is the realization that it will be over if I applied myself and thought of the best way and method to deal with it. My thought processes in the face of difficulties are unique in themselves. I may be faced with a really generic situation however my methods and the decisions I make are mine alone.

I am also convinced that it must have been this peculiar resilience of mine that saved me from dying years ago when I was ill and at the point of death. I reached deep within me and decided that I was not tired of life yet and was not ready to give up on the world. This positivity kept me going and was indeed strong enough to help me fight back.

There have been a number of situations such as the ones mentioned above. I have been in the dumps a number of times but what keeps me going is my one desire to not give up because one day I would help someone by recounting my own story. I sincerely believe that the difficulties I face would be for someone’s benefit someday and if I gave in I would be in no position to be of help or make an impact in someone else’s life. In times of difficulties, this is a recurring theme in my mind. This is how I am able to achieve the tremendous staying power which keeps me going till date.

I must reiterate that people deal with their situations differently. We may achieve the same results at the end but our methods vary based on our individual personalities and inclinations. I try to be the person I really am with no airs or affectations. Reaching out to people around me to encourage them to be true to themselves is something very dear to me. I live as though I would die someday and would not like to die as though I never lived, easily forgotten and not remembered for the impact I have made. This is what drives me and informs the decisions I make. This is what keeps me going for there is yet so much to do. Giving up is not an option and the person that I am does not give in to difficulties which would come anyway. The danger is not in falling but in falling and never rising.

I have observed that people who are renowned for one extraordinary trait or the other is because they gave themselves a chance to be who they were meant to be. This is why there is only one Mahatma Ghandi, one Mandela, one Michael Jackson, one Mohammed Ali, one Barack Obama, one Mother Theresa, one Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and one me.

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