25 Sep Kaleidoscopes
Those of you who’ve visited New York will understand when I try to explain it as a blurred oil painting, as if hundreds of different colours are moving so fast across the canvas that they blur into each other. There are thousands of people, moving purposefully in their own direction, stepping out to prove themselves, as though it were a choreographed movement with the sounds of the city a symphony playing a perfectly composed piece of music guiding the crowds.
What stood out most for me is that it seems as though there are no moulds. There is no mould for how you should dress, how you should speak or where you should eat. There is no mould for where you should live, what you should do or where you should work. It seems as though people challenge themselves to break any moulds, step out to stand out. There are contrasts on every corner, opposites in every street. It’s a complex hive of activity, working so harmoniously in tune together that it makes it all seem so effortless.
As an outsider, a visitor, I realized that for New Yorkers, differences are embraced. Nothing is seen as being “the norm”. There is so little, if any at all, judgement of those who stand out by what they wear or their accent or the language they speak. It made me realize how oblivious we can be to the moulds we conform to and how judgmental we are because of our pre-defined ideas of what we believe is normal or right. All the choices we make are moulded by our experiences and inputs, our upbringing and our comfort zones. Our expectations of others are moulded by what we think they should be doing, how they should be behaving, how they should be making decisions.
These pre-defined moulds often are the reason for why we may feel constrained or tied down. They can even make us feel like a disappointment for falling short of the expectation of others. They can make us feel lost, purposeless. This of course, drives the continuous quest to find ourselves, to determine who we are, what we should be and what our purpose is. It’s a silent battle against our own thoughts and actions. We go to war with ourselves to find our identity and our place in our families and society, when the solution is really so simple. Our identity and purpose is in God and through our relationship with Him, we are assured that we were created by and for Him, to live out His purpose for our lives. Draw near to that and all these moulds will dissolve into a majestic kaleidoscope of truth.