Unoriginal | Reflection

12:29 PM

"Un Picasso a meta prezzo." One Picasso for half-price. Photo taken by me, outside Augustus' tomb in Rome. October 2015.
Every thought has already been thought of.

It's a scary thought (no pun intended), but just think about it: with 7 billion people in the world, how can originality truly be attained?

Ancient philosophers and theologians are honored for the originality of their concepts and theories. Schools drill the revolutionary works of Aristotle and Kant into our minds, hoping to spark some understanding of the monumental nature such works demonstrated at their time of conceptualization.

And no, I am by no means comparing the "originality" of the average citizen to the great minds of Aristotle and Kant, but even if I was, when did we stop believing in the ability of everyday modern minds to develop revolutionary concepts?

In today's social media-consumed society, setting forth one's own ideas to a limitless audience has never been easier. We are constantly barraged against our own will by individuals' opinions, beliefs, and ideas. 

Occasionally we may find someone who preaches the same beliefs as us; however, we then start to undermine our own beliefs. Are we being authentic? Are we simply mimicking the attitudes and styles of those whom we admire?

Don't get me wrong; I know not everyone has these petty existential crises like I do. I understand that originality is not the be-all-end-all of living. There are many more important issues to concern our "unoriginal" minds with. 

But as someone who takes pride in being the most genuine, true version of myself, I often get wrapped up in questioning my own authenticity. Our society is full of stereotypes mocking individuals of all styles and dispositions: the "basic white girl," the "Tumblr baddie," the "hipster," all of which turn a person's idiosyncratic tendencies and interests into just another internet meme. 

Sure, there are probably plenty of individuals who intentionally segregate themselves into a specific category and do everything in their power to adhere to one specific identity. I've seen it; I know those kinds of people exist.

Let me be clear, though: I'm not just talking about style here. I'm talking about life itself. 

What about the people who are constantly questioning things and seek to avoid simply following in the steps of others? Not out of a desire to amaze others or prove themselves as ingenious thinkers of the modern age, but just those like me who are frustrated by the idea that none of their thoughts are original?

In our ever growing, ever more connected society of content and communication platforms, our bombardment by others' ideas will not cease anytime in the near future. We will continue to feel like our ideas are irrevelant, mere parallels of thoughts that have already been conceptualized thousands, if not billions of times.

But don't stop being creative. Don't stop questioning things. Realize that your "originality" does not define you, and that you can still contribute your genuineness to society.  

Keep doing the things that make you happy, and don't stop doing them just because someone equates you to a f*cking meme or category. 

If something makes you happy, pursue it.

Finally: sorry for getting hella deep and a little too philosophical. It's something about coffee, man. 

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