The One Thing that Everyone Wants
I believe that there is one thing that every person on this earth is searching for. Yes, we all have different dreams, and different desires, but in my opinion this desire is universal. So what is it that we all want? It's a little thing that I like to call "freedom of authenticity". Put plainly, every person wants to feel as though they can be exactly who they want to be, and live the life that they truly want to live, without fear of judgement or persecution.
One of the main reasons why there is so much segmentation and intolerance in our society today is the fact that so many people believe that they have THE truth. So many people believe that what they value should be valued by the masses, and they feel as though their beliefs should be held by all. This is completely natural, as it is built within us to want other people to be like us. Why? Because if other people agree with you then you feel validated and strong. But if many people disagree with your views or values then it's easy to feel insecure and vulnerable. Everyone wants to feel like their views are either accepted or generally agreed with, and once you understand this then your heart will be opened to greater empathy and compassion, because you can see that we all are searching for the same thing; acceptance.
If you're like most people then at some stage over the next 24 hours you'll feel as though you have to hide your true authentic self in order to bypass judgement from your peers, friends or family. You'll be playing an acting game where you play one role for your friends, another role for your work associates, and one more for your family. And this is one of the sad truths about us; we prefer to be fake over being authentic. We let the opinions and judgements of other people interfere with our ability to be truly unique, and we choose to hide who we are in fear of hurting other people's feelings.
Have you ever recognized how backwards this way of living really is? But the fact is that we all do it. See, at some stage when we were growing up we all decided that it was easier to conform than to bloom. It was easier to play by the rules than to find our own path. It was safer to sit in the background and agree than to be bold and adventurous. And here we are, living our lives, as Thoreau once put it, in "quiet desperation."
Freedom of authenticity is like oxygen to the soul. It's vital for one's mental health, and it can be likened unto breathing. You can hold in your breath all you like, but after a while one of two things has to happen. First, you might hold your breath in for most of your life, until you can't take it anymore. You'll realize that you've lived a life of fear, not a life of courage, and you'll accept that you've been living by other people's rules this whole time. You'll snap, and you'll do something drastic like quitting your job, getting a divorce, or buying a car that you definitely can't afford. That's the first option, and it's not ideal.
And the second option? Well, it might be difficult, but it's worth it. The second option is for you to realize that you're the one holding your breath, and that at any time you can choose to start breathing again. The choice is yours, and no-one on this earth can take that freedom away from you without your consent. You can be truly authentic, and you can be the person who you want to be. The only thing that is keeping you from this life of authenticity is your fear. You're the problem, but you're also the solution. All that you need to do is understand that these fears don't belong here, and you can move forward with passion and courage towards the life that represents you and you only.
As you bloom into your authenticity you'll recognize something very important; some people will detach themselves from you, and this is natural. Those people who are deterred by your authenticity are far less important than the many beautiful people who you will welcome into your life by just you being you. You're perfect, and you're unique, and great people love to be around people who are unapologetically real. You need to understand that the benefits of being yourself far outweigh the downsides to being fake.
So I would like to offer a challenge to you, the stakes of which are quite high. If you accept this challenge then you'll live a happy and full life, but if you decline it then you'll end up suffocating yourself until you can't take it anymore. The challenge is this: start breathing by living with unapologetic and unbridled authenticity. The world needs a little more you. The world needs more people who are willing to walk to the beat of a different drum. And not only is this essential to the progression of our world, but it's essential to your own mental health and progression. Live the life that you want to live, and be the person who you want to be. We're all counting on you.