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What is Sacrificed to Be Accepted?

Photo by Jordan Sanchez

Photo by Jordan Sanchez

There I am. Twelve-years-old. Nothing I want more than to fit in. I dress in the brand of clothes my friends do. I act a certain way even though I know it is wrong. I like things my friends do. It doesn’t matter if it is me or not; I want to be accepted. I don’t care about the cost.

I guess it’s normal to want someone to accept our way of thinking and to like what we like. It’s also normal to want them to accept us too. But I’ve wondered about the things I gave up to be accepted. How many times have you been convinced to do something or act a certain way to gain acceptance? How did you feel about it? Were you okay with it? Were you happy?

I’ve been the person who had no clue what they liked, simply because there was no longer someone there to tell me what I liked. That’s a confusing place to be. I don’t think you realize it’s happening. At least, I didn’t. You just suddenly lose interest in the things you once loved. It can cost you your individuality.

It’s a constant challenge to be accepted. One that never makes me happier. I say it in the present tense because I still struggle with it. I don’t think you wake up one day having decided that you no longer feel the need to be accepted. It’s a constant challenge, but it is something that gets better with practice.

I think the biggest desire to be accepted comes from the people we love. We value these people more than anyone, and we appreciate their opinion too. But when we disagree with them, we either have to sacrifice ourselves and agree with them, or we don’t agree, and we risk losing their acceptance. The people we love want to see us succeed. They don’t want to see us struggle or get hurt. However, good intentions don’t always bring good results. But I think it’s important to remember if these people care about us their intentions are usually good. But if you know their good intentions won’t bring good results for you, you have to do what you think is best. Always be grateful for the care and advice from those you love and consider it. But don’t be afraid to disagree with them. Don’t let it cost you what you know is right.

Your individuality is worth protecting. And accepting others individuality is important too. But remember that sacrificing what you know to be right, just to be accepted, is a far higher price to pay than you might realize. And one that is never worth it.

“Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.” 

- Rick Warren

— Kristin