6 Reasons to be a Rebel with a Cause

Monday, November 29, 2010 9:00 AM


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"The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself."
~Rita Mae Brown, Venus Envy


Have you ever felt misunderstood?  unaccepted?  uncool? Do you have ideas and philosophies that are outside of popular opinion?  Perhaps you've been teased and labeled when trying to express yourself?  Have you ever tried to change yourself for a man, a group, or a job?  Does your family disagree with how you live or decisions you've made?  Have you ever tried to be something for someone and forgotten who you really are?


For me, the answer is yes to all of the above.

Because I was afraid to doubt, to question and find my own way; I was unhappy for a long time.  Now, I understand the need for a healthy amount of rebellion.  Rebellion does not have to involve conflict.  My use of the word rebel in this context is simply the refusal to obey the constraints imposed by another.  By this definition, I am indeed a rebel.  And if I am a rebel, then my cause is peace.

Have you tried to allow some rebellion in your life?  Have you considered that the bossiest way to "fit in" is to be yourself in a huge way?  Don't worry about everyone understanding you.  Don't doubt yourself.  Take the power of your own individual energy and exploit it to the fullest.  Magically, you will garner more respect and acceptance this way; but most importantly you will feel good about yourself on your own terms.

This is your life, your experience, your vantage point.  Own it. Consider the following six attributes and corresponding quotes to sustain you and light the way to following your truth.

Independence 
It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Freedom
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Friedrich Nietzsche


Passion
Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive.  And then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  ~Attributed to Howard Thurman

Leadership
Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail. 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Accountability
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it - even if I have said it - unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
~Buddha


Empowerment
The strongest man in the world is he who stands alone.  ~Henrik Ibsen

What do you think about the following statement? It really resonated for me.  Indulge me and share your thoughts in the comments.  :)

We begin life with the world presenting itself to us as it is. Someone - our parents, teachers, analysts - hypnotizes us to "see" the world and construe it in the "right" way. These others label the world, attach names and give voices to the beings and events in it, so that thereafter, we cannot read the world in any other language or hear it saying other things to us. The task is to break the hypnotic spell, so that we become undeaf, unblind and multilingual, thereby letting the world speak to us in new voices and write all its possible meanings in the new book of our existence. 
~Sidney Jourard