Not one more face among the crowd…
Back in the days, I joined the Arts and Culture Club simply because, the club went outside of the school for competitions very often, and leaving the fenced school to see the outside world was like setting a bird free from its cage, the air outside was different, I thought. But on joining this group of people, I realized this: Simply joining wasn’t a going-out ticket, for they had limited spaces in their bus and absolutely not for onlookers like yours truly, it was basically, dancing.
At the very first Dance-rehearsal, I was the first to be picked out. I was uncertain, if the choice was for being the best or the worst, but at the end I needed no one to enlighten me on what this Selection was all about .For I watched the remaining ten dance with tried and tested Skill and with a beautiful Rhythm.
Dejected but determined, I walked out at the end but I made up my mind to learn how to dance better; the following days saw me dancing in secreted places. I danced in the dark Box room, Laundry room, Danced in some secluded corners behind the hostel while I hummed the songs. I ensured no one watched me but every struggle boiled down to me, being the first to be handpicked. I tried the Calabar dance, I was picked out; I tried the Igbo dance, I was picked out; I tried the Hausa dance, same thing and even the Tiv ,my own tribe, I was picked out first, they said I wasn’t flexible enough .
All I wanted was to go for this FESTAC competition. The event was to hold near my mother’s office and that meant extra change for my upkeep.
Then voila! I realized they had no good drummer, so I assured them I could drum for the dancers. I never did this before but I picked the drum and with little or no effort, I gave them good-enough music and I practiced till I was indispensable for the competition which we eventually won.
“What you are doing I cannot do, what I am doing you cannot do, but together we are doing something beautiful”. Who wrote this again? 🤔It just came to me.
You see, we have these desires to stand out: Hence, our seemingly tireless efforts to be the best in our chosen fields-the best Athlete, the best Blogger, the richest Businessman, the most excellent Singer, the greatest Painter, the most powerful Leader .Sometimes it’s as though by reaching such a position, people may remember our worth. We no longer are just- one -more face among the multitude, we are looked highly upon! AND WHEN WE GET THERE, BOOM! It could be something you may consider even trivial but it will create a stage for you. Drumming created a sit in the bus for me. We may be trying to dance but our thing may just be drumming.
Og Mandino in his book, “The greatest salesman in the world”, puts it this way:
“I am nature’s greatest miracle. Since the beginning of time, never has there been another with my mind, my heart, my eyes, my ears, my hands, my hair, my mouth. None that came before, none that live today and none that come tomorrow can walk and talk and move and think exactly like me.”
Just like seashells along the seashore, no two individuals can be completely alike, each is fashioned with an imprint of the Creator’s hand, each has something to share, and each has something to admire and long for in another.
Sometimes, we want to just fit in.
Despite the urge to stand out among the crowd, we secretly crave for a sense of belonging. This later hunger is rooted from the Desire to be loved and accepted by the people around us. Could this be a default setting that comes with most human beings? Okay, I have heard a few people say, they don’t really care if they are rejected…most of us feel awkward being singled out, especially for what we are unsure of. We are afraid to be the only one whose opinion is different from the group. We don’t want to feel like we are outcasts ,misfits or the weirdoes, so we sit our butts down, quieting our opinions and smiling at others while they speak and change their world with their opinions; they eventually find their different podiums,
This very reason of trying so hard to fit in, keeps us grounded, with this, we fail to stand out.
What we can do:
My friend, no matter how hard we try, we can never please everybody. That’s so cliché right? Let me try again…yesterday I saw something on Facebook that explains same, it says that even if you lie flat for people to walk all over you, they will still complain that you are not flat enough. There would always be those who will not see the good in whatever you do.so why would you risk living fully for opinions sake? We need to appreciate the diverse gifts we are given, some noticeable, some backstage, for some, is to hold the Leaders hands. Let’s be willing to offer them and not compromise our unique passions for the sake of fitting in.
At the end, we may still feel rejected and worse, we’d feel we have rejected ourselves, because we have forfeited our worth and our distinctiveness for whatever it is we wanted them to say and think of us.
There is this Jewish proverb that says “if I try to be like him, who will be like me?”
If you have experienced a misfit story, feel free to share in the comment box below.