Say no to settling for cookie-cutter lives


Last updated 10/24/2023 at 10:02am

In a generation where “celebrating diversity” is the mantra of the day, have you noticed how strikingly similar life has become in our country? Perhaps not quite so much in Sisters, where individuality seems to thrive — thank God! But if you travel the U.S., you may have observed huge neighborhoods filling expansive suburban developments—each house the same as the next. Of course, it’s cheaper and faster to build doppelganger houses, but how does a homeowner distinguish their home from their neighbor’s? After a long day, do some accidentally wander into a stranger’s abode?

And have you noticed how many SUVs, aside from differing trade logos, appear almost identical? Even the color selection seems limited. Have carmakers totally given up on ingenuity, or are they just worried that different won’t sell? Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe sameness is the order of the day.

And what about the way we acquire information and form opinions and thoughts? News media sources, both on TV and internet, seem to parrot the same sound bites, whether or not they’re verified or true. Like reading it on the internet ten times makes it gospel. Really? Sometimes I feel I’m being brainwashed by an invisible AI source with a diabolical agenda. OK, that sounds slightly paranoid, but I know a few who’ve been bullied online for their “unpopular” viewpoints. What happened to freedom of speech, let alone thought, in our country?

We all know there are at least two different, sometimes combative, sides to every issue. But what if we’re only listening to one of them? Sure, we can hunt down the opposing side and learn more — but it takes the time to do that kind research. And most people in this country seem to be short on time. Maybe they’re busy raising kids or working hard to make payments on their cookie-cutter lives.

But is that how we were meant to live? When you examine the history of our country, previous generations of Americans didn’t have cookie-cutter lives. Sure, they made some mistakes. Who doesn’t? But our forefathers and foremothers, independent individualists, were brave explorers, revolutionaries, pioneers, immigrants, settlers, leaders... To survive, they had to think for themselves, creatively outside of the box.

Our founders believed we were created equal by God — each one unique and special, a one-of-a-kind work of art. I believe that, too. We’re made in God’s image for greater and higher purposes than we can dream or imagine.

We’re all aware that our fingerprints differ, right? But did you know that, except for identical twins, no two human ears are the same? And no two human faces have the same profile. That sort of blows my mind. And besides differences in visible things like skin/hair color, body shape/size, we all have a myriad of other differences. Uniqueness that was never meant to conform into a cookie cutter. Humans are familiar with assembly- line manufacturing, where each product turns out the same, but our creative God is nothing like that. Just look at nature and you’ll see ingenious diversity everywhere.

I mused on all this while gazing at stars, and was awestruck by the concept that each one of us — millions and millions of earth-dwellers throughout the ages — were all created individually, differently, perfectly. No two exactly the same. And since we’re created in God’s image, that must mean he is multifaceted, with billions of unique reflections, representing each and every one of us. Try to wrap your head around that mind-boggling image!

Our Creator is unfathomably creative — and we, his handiwork, were never meant to fit into a constrictive, restrictive mold. So here’s to freedom of thought and the right to be yourself even if it feels like you’re going against the crowd at times. Let’s all leave the cookie cutters for the bakers of Christmas cookies!


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