Sunday, January 31, 2016

Copycat

Be your own person. Have an original idea. Don't be a follower. Find a new angle. Be set apart. In many households, as well as classrooms, one is encouraged to be a leader and not look like everyone else. Although, there is a fine line between not copying others and standing out too much, in which case you appear to desire unnecessary attention for yourself. It all depends on the context.
In writing, originality is of utmost importance; I stressed the importance of understanding plagiarism in order for my students to avoid it like the plague. In fashion, many people seek to wear what the media deems "in style," ultimately copying everyone else, unless you are truly unaware or avoiding garment trends altogether. At the end of the day, I believe the verse that claims, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9). 

Really, mimicking is one of the first forms of learning. For that reason, Silas is one of the best (and worst) teachers for Levi. As Levi watches his big brother eat food orally, I can almost see him move his mouth in copycat fashion. Likewise, toddlers begin to speak, act, and respond in similar style to that of their parents. Friend choices feel overwhelming critical to parents of pre-teens and teenagers because their child's individuality is being shaped by what their new friends are doing.

All of this has baffled me as I continue to have a desire to "be set apart" and "look different" from the world. However, we do not know what we do not know. Let me explain this rationale. Even though I feel like I've grown and changed this past year, others are growing and changing in their own way based on their own life circumstances. I may desire to be "different," but I'm going to be similar to someone, and someone else is going to desire to be "different" from me. Who is to say which "different" is the right "different." It's a tongue twister, but really it's just a rabbit trail identifying that making choices for yourself and your family may look different from others, but that doesn't mean you are making a judgement against their choices. We all just have to make those choices personally and respect the differences.

I think that at the end of the day we have to think about those people (for me I can name only a few) whom you walk away from wanting to be a better person. Those people that have a light and a joy about them that is different from anything else you have ever seen. They seem understand how to love the world and how to leave a lasting a palatable imprint on your heart that you want to understand deeper. Those are the unique individuals that we should seek to mimic because they are the fragrance of God.

Instead of excluding, judging, or hating the copycats or crazy unique characters in the world, we need to keep looking within to find out who we are trying to mimic because it's a guarantee that someone else will be copying us along the way.

My sweet boy trying to copy my reading in the early morning hours.

Our sweet BFF Birdie always trying to copy her older buddy Silas (sorry Dana!) :)

Mommy copied the internet for this fun science project!

Little Levi always looking to copy his crazy older sibling!
~Copying Buster

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