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In the past century, the discovery and use of DNA has transformed not only our thinking, but our ability to distinguish one individual from another; a critical piece of the crime scene puzzle. Fingerprint recognition, which can easily be distorted or changed, has taken a backseat to DNA that cannot be altered and is specific to each individual person.
DNA, the pupils of the eye, the fingerprints make each of us pretty unique. Add to that our physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup; the influences of environment, culture, personality, family, ancestry and genes, and each person has unmistakable characteristics that separate him or her from the rest of the pack.
Some people, including governments, would like each of us to succumb to a “pack mentality.” They want us to fit us into little boxes they can label, compartmentalize, manipulate, and tax. Governments in some parts of the world have been successful at doing this; still, the freedom lovers, the pro-active doers and thinkers rise to the top and clamor for “liberty or death” (Patrick Henry).
We must never become a part of the “pack,” especially a group that can be swayed, hypnotized, manipulated, or threatened. If we lose our God-given uniqueness, we lose our freedom. Artists and performers must not be hog tied into conformity or submission. To do so would be to lose our voice, our identity.
What makes us special is not only our talent and skill, it is the way we think, dream, and achieve. Freedom of speech, freedom to create and build must never be suppressed, unless that liberty begins to corrupt or restrict the freedom of others.
Why am I waxing philosophical? Because I believe that each of us leaves an imprint on the world. From the time we are born until the time we die, we either make the world a better place to live in or we destroy it bit by terrible bit.
The choices we make each day are the predecessor’s of tomorrow’s outcomes. We can choose to become a part of a destructive force (the pack), or we can choose to think and act in ways that leave a positive if not jarring influence on others to wake them up from their complacency.
As professionals we talk about “making our mark on the world,” but if our focus is not anchored in truth and individualism, the result may be collectivism. We may find that our freedom and individuality are owned by the State. Artists of all stripes must protect individual liberty at all costs in order to preserve our freedom to make a difference.