"Whatever Happened to Personality?" or "Steven, You're Nuts!"

"Whatever Happened to Personality?" or "Steven, You're Nuts!"

"There is a fine line between genius and madness because they share the same genes, scientists have found. Psychologists have discovered that creative people have a gene in common which is also linked to psychosis and depression." - Richard Alleyne, The Telegraph

"Steven, you're nuts!" - A co-worker


In this age of bland political correctness and unnecessary censoring, people are often shocked when someone speaks their mind and means every word. Walking on eggshells has become the norm and the offbeat personalities of the universe are more often hindered than supported. Parents teach their kids to blend into the crowd and always be aware of the status quo.

I, somehow, did not get that memo.

From an early age, I was fostered in a home where my sister and I were allowed to explore every avenue possible and make some mistakes. The eventual goal was for us to become individuals, not products of a society that has prescribed rules for its inhabitants.

And yes, we really made some mistakes. We failed some of our projects and made some very shit personal choices, but we blossomed into true individuals. As a result, I haven't gone down the route some of the people I've grown up have taken. I've forsaken the two-car ranch house, plain-jane wife, and 2.5 children for a small apartment, reading about dead character actresses, and wanting nothing to do with children.

In short, I chose my own path. I was able to explore opera, which became my career. I was able to read about old movies and cartoons, which became one of the joys of my life. I shunned the image of the "macho man" and somehow became Paul Lynde.

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And, to be honest, I wouldn't change it for the world.

What it all boils down to is the forgotten art of personality. We are so busy making sure kids adhere to the strict guidelines of an irrational school system that we forget that every human being is an individual, with specific needs, talents, and ways of operating. Trying to program every child to be the same robotic personality is like trying to get Android apps to work on an Apple Product - they're both the same type of machine, but their blueprints are the complete opposite.

My extended family members are a perfect personification of these ideals. They all went the traditional route, became astringent status-seekers, and bred their children to think the same. Suffice it to say, I don't fit into their mold of a "successful" individual, nor would I want to! If I had to lead that sort of lifestyle I'd end up a pancake under a street-sweeper.

The "stay in your row and don't make waves" mentality is killing personality. It starts at the school-age level and creeps on up through the years as the child learns to be the best conformer they can be.

Children are like sponges to a certain age - they will follow until they are told not to. Without an influence telling them to gather up their own leaves and paint their own pictures, they will simply follow the loudest voice in the din. This is how we end up with politicians who are less maverick and more sycophant.

In the workplace, people are so timid of the fact of offending anyone that they become tasteless vanilla puddings that walk around in a haze, in constant fear that their personality might seep out like a broken septic tank. They kowtow to the bosses, bullshit their co-workers, and worry only about their security over their happiness.

We need to stop homogenizing ourselves in any aspects of our lives. Of course, you need to know what to say and where to say it, as well as what lines absolutely cannot be crossed. Just because I advocate being more open with your personality, it doesn't mean that I want out-and-out anarchy. You can't run into a crowded theater and yell "fire!" just because you have a quirky personality.

I ask all of you today to get off of your butts and rebel against the political correctness that has branded itself on our consciousness. Speak your mind, say your peace, and let the people you love know the true you.

You don't want to be the basic 8-crayon Crayola box - be the one with hundreds of crayons and a built-in sharpener.

Because, when the day is through, you'll at least be able to sharpen the dullness away.


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And  the newest episode of my podcast, The Objectivist and The Vegan, has been uploaded to SoundCloud

In this guerilla-style episode, Steven and Jack react to The Election Results.

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