In the recent film Divergent, based off the popular young readers novel by Veronica Roth, a sixteen year old girl living in a Dystopian society has to make a decision as to which one of the five factions of society she will become a part of. Normally, a person must choose a faction based on the trait they have. What the main character discovers is that she possesses not just one, but three of these traits. These multiple traits make her dangerous for reasons she doesn’t understand, but will soon discover. Both the novel and movie, like The Hunger Games series, contain truths that impact us in this day and age. Art imitates life, and so forth.
Like Divergent, our surrounding culture would have us believe that we should all fit in to one mold so that we will be accepted. Being different, even though we are often encourage to be our own person, is still viewed as undesirable. The familiar paradigm with it’s cookie-cutter molds for each person. In today’s world, people look at you strange if you don’t choose a favorite sports team, aren’t dependent on a cell phone, or don’t flock to the latest trend. Most people have been so effected by the mass media that they will only eat, watch, wear and do what they have been programmed to.
People, like sheep, are easily influenced and led astray. The majority has what can only be described as a clone mentality. By the time one enters adulthood, completes college, and enters the work force, many have been so indoctrinated by education and social engineering that they have chosen to think and behave just like their peers, and if not, they are desperate to keep all else hidden away. Whether it’s dressing in a way that counters the culture, embracing a new idea or choosing to do that thing which isn’t popular by today’s standards, innovation begins through a single action.
In the first century, a man named Jesus choose to turn his culture upside down by the life he lived, the words he spoke, and the death he died. He challenged the religious mindsets of the system of thinking around him, impacting his world like a nuclear bomb. He was a revolutionary, a radical and a cultural dissident. Jesus often spoke saying ‘you’ve heard it said....but I tell you this,’ directly attacking what people had believed for thousands of years. He demonstrated God’s divine love to man in an unparalleled way. In like manner, all the great voices throughout history have been stoned, burned at the stake, beheaded, or imprisoned for their unconventional beliefs.
Will people around us, including our own families, misunderstand us if we choose to look, think and live differently? Yes. Embracing our individual uniqueness and originality does have a price attached to it. Even our so-called friends may reject us for being different. Regardless, it’s the revolutionaries and free thinkers that change the world. The word divergent is defined in Webster’s dictionary as ‘differing from each other or from a standard’. Let’s not settle for being a chip off the old block or the standard of our society, but dare to challenge the culture by thinking outside it’s restricting confines. Rise up and be divergent!