My mom read The Giver by Lois Lowry aloud to my sisters and me before we saw the movie last weekend. It was the second time Sherlock and I had read the story and the first for everyone else.
Something that stuck out to me this time was the “Sameness.” All of the people in the world of The Giver had decided to make everything the Same in order to eliminate problems. They had no colors, no real families, and rules for Sameness that all the children memorized in school. It sounds extreme, but don’t people naturally make their own Sameness in our current world?
Most people run in circles with others of the same race, economical class, or value systems. We have our own “rules” for what is normal and what is not. These are generally about etiquette and style. If the rules are broken, you are punished by being labeled “weird.”
People feed off Sameness and are quite willing to conform in order to keep the Sameness. Often I see groups of friends dressed in almost the exact same way as each other. Even “weird” people by others’ standards hang out together. There used to be hipsters; now hipsters are mainstream.
The fight against Sameness is a well known theme in movies, books, and all other stories. While we seem to have a need for Sameness, we have a desire to be unique. It is a very, very strange mix of traits.
What are we to do? With no Sameness, there is disorder. With Sameness life is boring and stressful and sometimes downright dangerous. (Read The Giver.) There is natural good Sameness among all of the human race. It can be beautiful how people, who should have nothing in common, can connect around the world. And yet, we are more than just-like-everyone-else.
I would almost like to ask what other people think about this, but I have a dilemma. If a lot of people agree with my thoughts, I will be caught up in Sameness. If no one likes what I say, I will be disappointed that I’m the only one who thinks like I do.
Being human is a curious thing.