Divergent

Divergent_(book)_by_Veronica_Roth_US_Hardcover_2011

So this is the book that actually changed my life last year. Yes, you heard right – it changed my life.

There were other things that happened around the same time that influenced the change, but this book was the trigger. Thanks Veronica Roth.

Many people may disagree with me, but this book almost accurately portrays our modern day Western society. Okay – the book may be an exaggerated version of today; but really, when you think about it, it’s not so different.

In the book, Divergent, people are placed into ‘factions’. It is assumed each person can be boxed into a particular category. That category determines their contribution to society. The five ‘factions’ in this book are as follows:

. Dauntless – The brave

. Amity – The peaceful

. Erudite – The intelligent

. Abnegation – The selfless

. Candor – The honest

Think of our modern day Western society. We are each labelled; whether by ourselves, our family, our teacher, or strangers. We all tend to bring judgement on each other according to what we see:

. The mother with lots of children = doesn’t understand contraception, or (in Australia) trying to bludge off the government.

. Older female with no children = selfish, or infertile.

. Male with ‘feministic qualities’ = homosexual.

. Male who doesn’t cry = not in touch with his feelings.

. Home-schooled child = socially awkward.

. Schooled child = brainwashed.

. Person with tattoos and piercings = rebellious, or looking for attention.

. Person with a disability = unable to properly contribute to society, or ‘abnormal’.

The list goes on.

I admit, I have done it. Everyone has.

Really, we are all like Tris in the Divergent series. She is labelled a Divergent in her society, because she doesn’t fit in to any one faction. We need to remember that none of us do. As much as society feels more comfortable placing people in boxes, none of us belong in one.

So don’t label yourself as dumb, or less than anyone else. Each of us is unique and we all have many talents that are needed in this world we live in. If you want to be a full time mum, be one; if you want to be a Math teacher, be one; if you feel higher education isn’t necessary for what you want to do in life, then don’t do it; if you want to travel the world, then work toward it; if you just want to paint, then paint.

Don’t let labels determine your life. Shake them off and be you. Because that is who you were born to be!  

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