1 in 6 billion by Avuyile Gasela
Give me an audience and I’ll inspire and amaze them. Throw me in front of a peer of the opposite sex and watch me as I morph into an incoherent, panic-stricken, mumbling fool. Put me on a rugby pitch and I feel at home. But teleport me to the soccer pitch and I trip on my own feet. Try to fit me into a box and you’ll find that I just don’t fit.
Name : Avuyile Gasela
School : Port Shepstone high
Province : KZN
Topic : 1 in 6 Billion
Good morning ladies and gentlemen.
If you must know, I like not fitting in a box.
That’s why I feel sorry for my friends when they try so desperately to fit into some sort of category. This leads them to be vulnerable to peer-pressure and social stereotypes. I’ve seen so many of my friends start smoking and drinking just so they can be part of the cool crew. What’s worse is that they are willing to discard part of themselves that don’t “fit” into that category like academic excellence. We’ve all heard about teenage girls that develop eating disorders just to be what they’ve now termed “HOT”.
But I prefer not to fit because I’m just too complicated. I am a unique combination of qualities taken from many boxes. I am loud, shy, crazy and organized, lazy, industrious, arrogant, humble... I am all these things and so much more! I am but a paradox wrapped in a shroud of mystery.
In Philosophy personal identity refers to the numerical identities of persons through time. To you and me that just means people exhibit different character traits at certain moments or situations. All in all each of us is just too complicated and too unique to be categorized.
But what I really want to share with my mates is the fact that this uniqueness, this inability to fit into a single box, is exactly what makes us so valuable. If I am different I can fill a void that no one else can! I become irreplaceable. If we were all the same my existence would be pointless because my void could just as easily be filled by any one of you in this very room. I think that none of us, wishes to be that expendable.
Groups need not be made up of only one type of person. Often it is this mixture of flavors that makes groups so interesting. That’s why we can always find a nerd amongst the cool kids, a book worm between the sports fanatics. In other words an individual amongst the group! Because after all, that is what groups are made up of, individuals.
This means that conformity is not a necessary ingredient in the recipe of friendship groups. I personally think that groups that expect people to change who they are in order to be part of the group are not worth joining anyway. Why? Because they are boring.
As human beings we feel compelled to be part of the group not merely because of the common interest of the group but because of the diverse and dynamic individuals that make up the group.
Diverse groups are simply more interesting. Think about it. Would any of you be here if my fellow speakers and I did not each have an opinion, a different idea from the next speaker? If we didn’t each have a unique thought that we want to display to the rest of the world, would this event be worth attending?
Ultimately, I want to encourage my peers to embrace the best thing that they have to offer any group and indeed society. That is the unique combination of characteristics that sets them apart from all the other 6 billion people in the world. Or as Shakespeare once said it; ‘’this above all: to thine own self be true”