“Be different. Be happy. Be your own person.”

In his editorial, Glenn Dunlea writes about how sharing ideas and working together can lead to positive change and outcomes.

“Great minds don’t think alike”.

I find myself thinking about this quite often as I reach the midway point of my degree. And the more I think about it, the more it begins to unsettle me.

To say that great minds don’t think alike is almost to infer that sterile individualism is the only way to progress. But how can this be so?

I am most definitely my own person. I love being who I am and like to think that I am respected for it. I love very specific things that would make other people cringe to hear about. I am proud of the fact that I think independently and that I use my own initiative to get things done. But there are times when I know that to get the job done, I need to combine my ideas with someone else’s, so that the end result will be as great as it can possibly be.

As an Art History and English student, I can safely say that those that stand alone in their beliefs and practices are often the ones that get left behind. But those that embrace movements, that use their own unique individualism to work together and strive towards a new point, they are the ones that achieve greatness. Look at the Romantics, the Impressionists, the Cubists. All of these movements were made up of groups of individuals striving towards the same vision.

Just look at the oft-referred to Marriage Equality Referendum. Would that outcome have been achieved if the country had not come together as one to ensure a successful victory? What would have happened if all of this countries great independent thinkers hadn’t worked together to reach the same goal?

There is a point where individualism reaches a fulcrum, and when one veers too far between being their own person and getting lost in the crowd, the latter becomes inevitable. If everybody is a stalwart and unique individual then surely because of that very reason they are simply the same as everyone else?

Someone once said to me on a night out, “You are you. You do your own thing.”

Goodness knows I remember little else from the night in question, but that has stuck with me. It is a motto I live by, and it is something that everyone should remember.

Everyone is different. Be different. Be happy. Be your own person. Do what makes you happy and not just because it pleases others. Live your own life the way you want to live it. Work towards what will make you happy. But don’t forget those around you. Help others. Work with them. Be respectful of them. Discover the common thoughts and goals and opinions that you share with other people and enjoy them. Work alongside them to make them a reality. Together we can grow and blossom into the best we can possibly be, and who knows, we might just accomplish something great in the meantime.

Great minds don’t always think alike, but the best minds are definitely on the same page.




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