Do you ever wonder......
• Who's an individual?
• Who's a free thinker?
• Who is unique?
• Who is challenging the 'norms' of society?
Have you ever heard this one?
"I don't follow organised religion. I'm an individual. I'm not a follower"
In Monty Python’s “The Life of Bryan”, there is a classic scene where, Bryan engages the masses (his followers) from his bedroom window:
Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't need to follow me, you don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves! You're all individuals!
The Crowd (in unison): Yes! We're all individuals!
Brian: You're all different!
The Crowd (in unison): Yes, we are all different!
Man in Crowd: I'm not.
Another Man: Shhh!
I should be upfront with my readers: My name is Uri and I am a follower.
I follow many laws of society. I also follow many strictures of my religion and community. I observe the Jewish Sabbath, I keep the Jewish dietary laws. And yet, as a semi-observant Jew, I hear people say things like:
“I don’t follow that because I’m not a follower” or “I’m an individual” or “I don’t believe in organized religion”
And you can find these people
In an institution of some form or other
I love free-thinkers. I appreciate people who are unique.
But not the “I’m a serial-killer” or the “I was anally probed by aliens” kind of uniqueness.
I love Salvador Dali
(Although I don’t think I could eat a whole one)
Humour aside, I really do appreciate Salvador Dali. And I have, since I was first introduced to his work by an art teacher of mine, at the age of 11. And yet, with all his crazy artwork, wonderful ideas, creativity, free-thinking….. he is still ‘boxed’ into a category and cultural movement called: Surrealism
And the amazingly creative Salvador Dali conformed to all the ‘rules’ that define Surrealism
I do not believe there is anything wrong with following a calling, a community, a culture, a religion. That does not make you any less special or unique. What makes you special and unique is how you bring out your unique talents and contributions within that space.
We must stop accusing people of being blind followers, because we are all followers.
We need to create ourselves, within the framework (and rules) we choose to live by
We are all individuals
And we are all followers
Accept the paradox in yourself…….and appreciate it in others
So, you want to reject "conformist" religion, or “conformist” society? Would you prefer to be a sports fan, or get a tattoo or have a body piercing?
In these ways, you too can show you're an individual......
Along with everybody else that's doing it