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So quick is man to judge. Seeing the one he views as different, he points the finger, casting him away into the darkest corners of the universe. So it always has been and so it shall always be.

After watching Dark Shadows yesterday, it got me thinking. Why is it so bad to be different than everyone else? Why does society place so much value on conformity?

In my eyes, the real curse is that of being the same. The one who is different dares to break molds, dares to think, dares to go forth with their innovative dreams; sometimes at the cost of that which humans hold most dear: kinship.

Differences are something to be cherished and appreciated. No matter who we are or what land we come from, we are all people. We all live life, taking unique paths along the way. In the end, we all leave our own imprint on the world before departing.

If you are currently angry at someone about something or can’t appreciate the fact that someone is not like you, take a step back. Look at things from a new perspective. Is it really worth holding a grudge over?

I leave you all now with a short story about breaking the mold:

Whiteness. That is all I ever see. I didn’t even know it had a name until he told me. I just moved along in this never ending whiteness. This was the way it was supposed to be. No one wanted me to know the truth of things; the truth that only I could not see. “Until we leave we are not free.” He told me.

Such blasphemy. No one would even dare. His very being was a plague, sent to decay the world of perfection. The only shade of color in my life was out to get me.

In my heart, I know the others feel the same. Color in a world of white? It would not last long. I sighed, knowing that he would soon be the same as us. I watched as they tormented him. He sank further into despair, unable to deal with his torment.

Out of curiosity, I approached him. He cast a wicked glance and punched me in the gut.

“Why do you torment me so, cruel demon?” He shouted.

“Me? But I never–”

“Do you think I asked for this? I didn’t want to be born a freak.” He sobbed, his grey head now lost in his hands.

No words I knew could ever comfort his sorrow. I put my hand on his shoulder.

“Don’t touch me, foul miscreant!” He jumped and ran away. I reached out my hand, trying to grab him. He was too far gone.

My mind became afflicted with thoughts of sacrilege. Was there a world outside of mine? Was it possible to escape this one? His phantom constantly haunted me, a dark stain on my perfect soul. Why couldn’t I shake him off?

My sleep became filled with nightmares of violence and destruction. Fire scoured the entire world, and I was left in ashes. Whole no more, I had to endure.

Upon waking, I felt hot. The embers of life were burning out the last remnants of comfort I had.

Still, I felt drawn to find him, this essence of uniqueness. Searching high and low proved fruitless, for he was a creature of silence. Maybe if I could just have a talk with him I would understand…

I traveled to the only place I could think of, the edge of the world; the place no one else dare tread. It was there I saw him, sitting on the edge. Below him lay only dark.

“I knew I would see you again.” He sat unmoving.

“How did you know?”

“Because we are linked, you and I. Complete opposites, in the same place at the same time.” He turned around now, reaching out his hands.

“What does this all mean?” I lamented.

“It means that there is a world outside. A world filled with more color than you can imagine.”

A sense of dread crept upon me. The visions of my dreams filled my mind, casting out his words.

“I see you are afraid.” He said solemnly. “A normal reaction to change…”

I paced around, trying to make sense of it all. He grabbed my hands.

“Worry not. The white of this place exists outside. We will be safe there.”

“What about the others? Will this place disappear?”

“No. It will always be here. Perhaps in time they will follow. Perhaps not. It does not matter.”

I knew I could not stay any longer. I was far too different to remain. We were linked forever. Letting go of my hands, he pointed to the blackness below.

“If you can trust me, jump down. You will see what happens.” He ran, leaping off the edge of the world. There I stood, at the edge of everything. Regardless of the choice I made, nothing would be the same again. If he was right, then I could come back if I wanted.

“I guess this is goodbye then!”. I hesitated. I was risking so much by following him. I closed my eyes and jumped.

The coldness around me slowly transformed into warmth. No longer was it black. The newness of color flooded my eyes. It clung to me, embracing my every curve. I landed on solid ground, looking over a cliff.

“Welcome.” A familiar voice proclaimed. He stood behind me with a smile on his face. Somehow, I knew I made the right choice.

“It’s… strangely comforting.” I said.

“See? This world isn’t all bad.” I sat down on the ground, taking in all the new sensations. For the first time in my life, the sound of silence was very comforting.

“Welcome home.” He whispered, sitting down beside me. I smiled.