None of us are born with an identity. Though our born and bred genetic code goes on to define a great deal of who we are, our coding means nothing without the experiences we go through and the things we witness.
We are largely reactionary souls, responding to stimuli and forming opinions on it while using our memories and predispositions as guides. What this creates is a pattern of learning and adjustment, spanning from birth until death, carving a flowing line through the years in between.
But people find themselves seeking something solid in their lives and, looking back through their past, they only see the calligraphy created by the experiences that make them unique. With nothing rigid to anchor them, they start to hammer out the dents and curves, striving futilely to make a fluid thing solid, erasing their own experiences just to feel more secure.
Worse still, many seek out templates and begin mimicking what others have done. Rather than listening to the experiences of their own lives, they put their trust, almost completely, into a person or a thing that has never walked in their shoes.
It's as if they've taken an eraser and stricken their memories from the face of the earth, making time they've spent on earth completely pointless. By the time it's over, they might as well have never existed at all for they're just living a shadow of someone or something else.
Our individuality isn't just a matter of being who we are and living our lives on our terms, but also of making the most of our precious time. If we walk freely where others have tread before, we have achieved nothing. If we allow ourselves to ignore what we have seen and felt, it's as if we never lived at all.
We are all vulnerable to the pitfalls of conformity. Countless so-called iconoclasts appear as such only because they imitate other individuals. However, it's not because they don't want to be true to themselves, but because it's frightening to look out into the future and have no idea what to do next.
If our lives are to count for anything we can only be rigid in regards to ourselves. We have to use the gifts we were given and the experiences we've had not just to form a common bond with our fellow man, but to discover and cherish what makes us unique.
The calligraphy that is our lives is a truly beautiful thing, even at its ugliest; it plays a part in a gorgeous image. To erase that, out of fear or convenience, is to erase ourselves, and not just our memories gone by, but also our future place in the annals of history.