Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 56

“Be daring, be different,

be impractical, be anything

that will assert integrity of purpose

and imaginative vision

against the play-it-safers,

the creatures of the commonplace,

the slaves of the ordinary.”

– Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton (1904-1980)


I’ve been thinking of differences.  Of being different.  Or, of not being different enough.  What is different?

Is it just being not the same?  Not the same as what?  Someone else?  How?  In nature?  In quality?  In what?

An Apple commercial said:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels.

The troublemakers.  The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently.  They’re not fond of rules.

And they have no respect for the status quo. 

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things.  They push the human race forward.

And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

But, what does different really mean?  The dictionary says it’s when something or someone is not alike, whether in character or, in quality.

Being different is being dissimilar, or not identical.  Being different is being seen, or distinguished, or being labeled as separate or distinct from what is accepted as, or what is considered as, the norm.

It is also about being characterized as various or assorted because, due to the lack of sameness, the item or individual or circumstance does not and cannot fit in.  To be different is to not be ordinary.  It is about being out of the ordinary or being extraordinary.

It is about being usual.  It is in fact, more about being in contrast with what may be considered acceptable.

It is a word at odds with itself.  People say: I want something different.  But it usually means they want a change or, something different for a change.

Then when they are confronted with change, they rebel against it.  Maybe it’s really about control more than anything else.  We will allow the change we want but rail against the change that was made without our consent.

The word different is also used as a code for I’m too nice to tell you what I really think and therefore will will be polite.  When confronted to make an esthetic decision, whether about food, wine or art,  instead of answering yes or no, many of us respond: It’s different.

Round and round my thoughts go.  Albert Einstein said, “The thinking that we are has brought us to where we have already been.  In order to go somewhere else, we must think in a different way.”  Yeah, I had to read that twice, too!




Posted on: 28/05/2013, by :
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