I’m going to sound a bit like an old children’s TV show here, but it’s important to always remember to “be yourself.” God made you the way you are so don’t worry about changing that. However, there are two sides to every coin. Being unique and “you” is wonderful, but that doesn’t mean that popular culture is evil and should be avoided at all times. Finding a balance is key.
It’s my humble opinion that bluegrass music is the best kind to listen to. This is a unique trait of mine. I’m gonna have to think for a good minute before I think of someone I know who might agree with me. My favorite dessert is cheesecake. This is not a unique trait, as many people share this excellent dessert as their favorite. Is either of these opinions better than the other? Is it better to find you have a unique favorite so that you stick out in a crowd, or better to discover others who share your opinion so you can be in community with them? Well, I suppose when I put it that way, it’s clear that both are acceptable and eventually necessary.
If you allow your thoughts and opinions to be created and changed by those around you, you will find that you can more easily identify with them and enjoy what they enjoy. However, you may also lose your own identity somewhere along the way. Children’s sermons and Mr. Rogers might have us believe that “being yourself” means completely rejecting popular culture, whereas modern television implies that being different is dangerous and might get you labeled “an outcast.” Both of these opinions obviously go too far, but sometimes we can subscribe to a smaller and equally destructive version of them which does not benefit either party involved.
For example, if you want to “be yourself” and so refuse to engage in conversation about an opposing opinion, you’ve just shut yourself off from a possibly enlightening discussion and, if taken far enough, maybe a friend. “Being yourself” is a great thing, so long as you’re willing to talk about things that aren’t “you.” By shutting yourself off from everything you disagree with, you are actually living in a false realityand lying to yourself, which is silly.
The same can happen on the other side. If you love every piece of music on the radio, every movie you ever watch, or every meal you ever eat just for fear of being different, then you might lose the unique personality that God blessed you with altogether.
I’m not trying to scare anyone. If you love everything all the time, go on loving. If you disagree with everyone (respectfully) go on disagreeing (respectfully). Simply remember that you don’t have to be unique in every opinion, nor do you have to enjoy something just because someone else does. Now go eat some cheesecake. That stuff’s good.