Since childhood, we are raised on a certain set of ideas. Most of the parents insist on a product that passes the social test, some try to create a unique brand of ‘be yourselves.’ The parents love it, the kids boast of it, the brands pick up the idea and create amazing campaigns around it.
Some thousand years of evolution based on sheep behavior combined with individuality that could not be suppressed is suddenly pulled by the nose with a “Be yourself.’ Now, be yourself is an extremely political statement about human consciousness and awareness. It is that level in Maslow’s Hierarchy that trumps all other levels even if he didn’t write about it.
Now, despite all the sunglass and jeans ads, I have never been too convinced about the idea. The rapists on the Delhi bus were just being themselves, the ISIS hotheads are just being themselves; the bombers and the protesters in Israel are just being themselves, a Praveen Togadia is just being himself and a Moninder Singh Pandher was just being himself.
Sometimes, don’t just ‘be yourself.’ Humanbeings are engineered to second guess, to doubt, to process multiple strands of information to decide on a course of action. Being yourself would just be animalish, sometimes, all it can produce is a human animal. If you have a kid, teach him/her not to be himself/herself, teach him/her to be good, sensible, intelligent and moral.They are more than words in a paper dictionary.
The remedy to ‘Be yourself’ is a healthy dose of ‘Think Twice.’