Also see Success and Failure, Gratitude and Acceptance.


Quotes on Conformity

Be Yourself

(Bruce B. Wilmer)

The world would like to change you;
There are pressures all around.
You must decide just who you are,
Then firmly hold your ground.

You have an image of yourself,
An ideal sense of you;
And to this vision you must always
Struggle to be true.

You know what you are good at,
And you know where talents lie;
But if you're ruled by others,
Your uniqueness could pass by.

Remember, there is much to learn;
But all new things aren't good.
Wisdom lies in what we learned,
And what we have withstood.

So, be yourself and don't allow
The world to take control.
Preserving your identity,
Is life's most precious goal.

Each child is different

I cannot change the way I am,
I never really try,
God made me different and unique,
I never ask him why.

If I appear peculiar,
There's nothing I can do,
You must accept me as I am,
As I've accepted you.

God made a casting of each life,
Then threw the old away,
Each child is different from the rest,
Unlike as night from day.

So often we will criticize,
The things that others do,
But, do you know, they do not think,
The same as me and you.

So God in all his wisdom,
Who knows us all by name,
He didn't want us to be bored,
That's why we're not the same.

from The Man in the Tree

(Damon Knight)

Driving down the wrong road and knowing it, the fork years behind, how many have thought to pull up on the shoulder and leave the car empty, strike out across the fields; and how many are still mazed among dock and thistle, seeking the road they should have taken?

I Was Born...

(James Kavanaugh)

I was born to catch dragons in their dens
And pick flowers
To tell tales and laugh away the morning
To drift and dream like a lazy stream
And walk barefoot across sunshine days.

A Butterfly in the Wind

A child is like a butterfly in the wind
Some can fly higher than others,
But each one flies the best it can.
Why compare one against the other?
Each one is different.
Each one is special.
Each one is beautiful.

Have a Good Day

Tell a joke,
Or say a prayer.
Take time out
To take good care.

Draw a bath.
Light a candle.
There is nothing
You can't handle.

Close your eyes.
Dream a dream.
Change your horses
In midstream.

Cry a little.
Laugh a lot.
Hold a hand.
Hold that thought.

Tell your feelings
they're okay.
Let your soul
Come out and play.

You are you.
You are free.
Be who only
YOU can be!

Everybody Says

(Dorothy Aldis)

Everybody says
I look just like my mother.
Everybody says
I'm the image of Aunt Bee.
Everybody says
My nose is like my father's,
But I want to look like me.

Here's to the Kids That are Different

(Dilby Wolfe)

Here's to the kids that are different,
The kids that don't always get A's.
The kids that have ears, twice as big as their peers,
Or have noses that go on for days.

Here's to the kids that are different,
The kids that are just out of step.
The kids they all tease,
Who have cuts on their knees,
And whose sneakers are constantly wet.

Here's to the kids that are different,
The kids with a mischievous streak.
For when they have grown,
As history has shown,

It's their difference that makes them unique.

You Are Special

A speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill and asking, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands went up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you, but first, let me do this." He crumpled the bill and then asked, "Who wants it now?" Still all the hands were up.
"Well," he continued, "what if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now who wants this $20?" Still the hands were in the air.
"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.
"Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what happens, you never lose your value: dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love you."
You are special--Don't ever forget it.

The Unknown Citizen

(W. H. Auden)

(To JS/07/M/378/ This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State)

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a Frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace; When there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation.
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.

Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

I Am the Captain of My Soul

(William Earnest Henley - from Invictus)

Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole. I thank
whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under
the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears, looms but the horror of the shade, and
yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.


Some of us are nervous about being ourselves because we don't think we are 'good enough' the way we are. Here is a great website if you feel that way. Why Your Low Self-Worth is Not Your Fault (and what to do about it) and Eight Ways to Increase Your Self-Worth. back to top of page