The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?
Alice Kingsley: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are. – Alice in wonderland
Alice in wonderland, the novel as well as the movie, dwells on a question that we can all relate to – the question of identity. Who are we? And what is our purpose in life? Some people find their calling quite early in life, however it is not so for everyone. Sometimes even forty year olds seem perturbed when asked about who they really are. Think about it. Many a times we are asked to describe ourselves and even though initially we are confident that we’ll be able to answer that, it turns out that this is one of the most difficult questions to answer. We contemplate for a while and end up giving general statements about ourselves. Why is it so difficult to tell the world who we really are? Are we scared that the world won’t accept us for our reality? Or we might not be considered ‘normal’? Well, who defines what ‘normal’ really is? Does being normal mean wearing simple clothes, behaving in a dignified manner and so on? According to dictionary.com, the world Normal means ‘conforming to the standard or the common type’. Who’s to say what is common in today’s world? I feel it is subjective; for some, normal may mean living your life on simple terms but for others, they might just be enjoying every second of every single day doing ‘crazy’ things (Carpe Diem). If someone doesn’t adhere to your standards of dressing up or behaving in a certain manner, you cannot just term them as ‘weird’ or ‘abnormal’. There is always a reason why people are the way they are! Everyone is different and everyone has the right to be different too. It’s so funny, sometimes we change our entire selves just so that nobody can point at us and say, ’Oh look! There goes a weirdo!’ We care so much about what is being said about us that we end up being completely different from what we really are. As if this world is already not hard enough, losing our self in the crowd makes it even more difficult to cope up. Don’t try to deny it. We all have been there. We’re sitting there in our comfortable sweats when suddenly we realize we have to attend a party and there it is! What a transformation! Our messy hair becomes straight and shiny, our pajamas are exchanged for an LBD and our slippers are traded for five inch heels! In a way we are all trying to be accepted by the society. And there is nothing wrong in that. But when you completely give yourself up so that you can ‘blend in’, that’s where the problem lies.
So they call you ‘crazy lady’. Who cares? Who asked for their opinion in the first place? It’s so much better to stand out in a dull monotonous crowd. Why do you even want to be accepted by others? It’s so much fun being yourself. ‘Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken’. Is that not true? Why pretend to be someone you’re not? For how long can you carry this act of being someone else? We spend so much time trying to please others and for what? Even if they start liking you, it is not because of who you are. It is because of what you’ve become. When you show your real self, and when someone accepts you for that-it’s beautiful to know that there are people who love you for who you are.
Why are we so afraid to stand out from others and be bold and courageous? The day we accept ourselves for who we really are, we win half the battle. If your choices are what others call ‘bizarre’, then you should be extremely happy. Why, you ask? Because you are different from the rest! And how amazing is that? You choose to deviate from the ‘normal’. You stand out from the crowd; you respect and honor your choices and that I think is a very big achievement.
I feel everyone has a story to tell. There is not a single human being on earth who isn’t flawed yet we look down upon each other’s weaknesses and pretend as if they’re taboo. Why not see the good in others? Why not talk about each other’s strengths? We always try to pinpoint something wrong in others instead of appreciating them for what they are. If we don’t start seeing the good in others, it will end up making us bitter and jealous and negative. Let’s start accepting people for who they are. Let’s stop making people feel conscious about themselves and embrace them as well as their flaws. So the next time someone comments on the way you’re dressed up or the way you’re speaking, remember what Mad Hatter said and be proud that you’re different from the rest!
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson