Dare to be different

Daring to be different is a sine qua non condition to be able to have one's own identity, to be oneself, to be, in short, a Christian.

October 21, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes

If one is a Christian, he is different from others. If he is equal to the world, then he is not a Christian.

This blunt statement clashes with the desire we all have to be like everyone else, to be admitted into the group. And then the defensive question arises: why does a Christian have to be a freak? Why can't we be normal?

The issue is in what meaning is given to that of be normal. I will not make an apology that Christians have to do extravagant things, far from it. But it is clear to me that Christ's way of life, which we follow, will sooner or later clash with the way of life proposed to us by the world. And if we want to be like others, we will end up ceasing to be Christians.

It is necessary to swallow the cross of being different. A cross especially hard among young people, because of the special need for socialization they have. And the fact is that as soon as you show yourself to be different, you will inevitably be excluded from the group, you will be outside the circles in which others move. And that is hard. And we all know that there is a dominant culture of political correctness that has become a silent dictatorship that leads us to constant self-censorship. Whoever dares to be different is immediately cancelled, is out of social circles, marginalized to social ostracism.

And this is as true in large cultural and social circles as it is in small, everyday environments.

But, daring to be different is a sine qua non condition to be able to have one's own identity, to be oneself. To be a Christian.

For this reason, as opposed to a formative scheme among young people in which the emphasis is on being one more and doing the same things that others do, I believe that we should focus on an education that gives identity and teaches our boys and girls to be different, to have a personality, to swim against the current.

This forces us educators to work hard. There is a lot to work on. We will have to help them to form strong personalities, capable of facing the contradictions to which they will be subjected. We will have to provide criteria and a solid formation that gives reasons for their faith and values. We will have to accompany the process of personal maturation, to support and encourage, to impel and animate. It will be necessary to promote the coexistence with other young people who are Christians, who give them a sense of belonging, who provide them with that group of equals that every young person needs to socialize.  

And above all, we must be an example and a reference with our life. For if anything gives security to a young person and helps him/her to obtain an identity, it is to be accompanied by an adult who embodies what he/she wants to become.

For this, the first ones to accept that we are not normal, that we are different, are the educators themselves.

That is where we should start.

The authorJavier Segura

Teaching Delegate in the Diocese of Getafe since the 2010-2011 academic year, he has previously exercised this service in the Archbishopric of Pamplona and Tudela, for seven years (2003-2009). He currently combines this work with his dedication to youth ministry directing the Public Association of the Faithful 'Milicia de Santa Maria' and the educational association 'VEN Y VERÁS. EDUCATION', of which he is President.

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