Many of us are trying all the time to fit in, hoping that way we’ll eventually have the recognition, trust and security we long for.
But fitting in, rather than finding out who you are and bringing that, always involves some measure of contortion or self-abandonment. You discover eventually that what is recognised and trusted about you is precisely the distorted image you’ve been working to have others see. And it turns out not to feel safe or secure at all, because of the constant vigilance that maintaining such an image requires.
Fitting in keeps the world just as it is, because it involves giving up those very parts of you which stand out, and which have the possibility of bringing something new.
The alternative? Perhaps aiming towards this, beautifully expressed in the words of Rainer Maria Rilke:
“Again and again in history some people wake up. They have no ground in the crowd and they move to broader, deeper laws. They carry strange customs with them and demand room for bold and audacious action. The future speaks ruthlessly through them.
They change the world.”