As Latter-day Saints, we need not look like the world. We need not entertain like the world. Our personal habits should be different. Our recreation should be different. Our concern for family will be different. As we establish this distinctiveness firmly in our life's pattern, the blessings of heaven await to assist us.
Robert D. Hales
The work of adult life is not easy. As in childhood, each step presents not only new tasks of development but requires a letting go of the techniques that worked before. With each passage some magic must be given up, some cherished illusion of safety and comfortably familiar sense of self must be cast off, to allow for the greater expansion of our distinctiveness.
The point is not that angering people should be the goal for every brand. It's that attempting to avoid controversy at all costs is sometimes the riskier option. It can deprive a brand of its distinctiveness and edge. Too often, marketers strive to please the broadest number of people possible. The result can be communications that no one hates. But no one loves either.
Nearly all the writing of our time is likely to disappear in a hundred years. Certainly most readers - and nearly all critics - feel that [Kurt] Vonnegut started to repeat himself, to grow increasingly self-indulgent and meandering, and to sometimes just blather in his later work. But his books up to "Slaughterhouse-Five" do possess a distinctiveness that will insure some kind of permanence, if only in the history of the 1960s and of science fiction.
We humans are in such a strange position""we are still animals whose behavior reflects that of our ancestors, yet we are unique""unlike any other animal on earth. Our distinctiveness separates us and makes it easy to forget where we came from. Perhaps dogs help us remember the depth of our roots, reminding us""the animals at the other end of the leash""that we may be special, but we are not alone. No wonder we call them our best friends.
Why must I cling to the customs and practices of a particular country forever, just because I happened to be born there? What does it matter if its distinctiveness is lost? Need we be so attached to it? What's the harm if everyone on earth shares the same thoughts and feelings, if they stand under a single banner of laws and regulations? What if we can't be recognized as Indians any more? Where's the harm in that? No one can object if we declare ourselves to be citizens of the world. Is that any less glorious?
Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
The dialectical critique of positivist habits of mind ... is interested only in behaviour which is 'important' to the actor; that is, behaviour which is emotionally charged to the degree that it is either frequently recalled, reflected upon, or day-dreamed about. ... That science which is less discriminating in the behaviour it chooses to investigate gains clarity and distinctiveness at the cost of confining itself to the trivial.
All creations are one with the universe. Look at the world around you. Can you effectively separate yourself from everything else? After seriously pondering this, most of us rapidly conclude that we cannot. To even make the statement that I exist as a unique entity requires comparison with something else. (If you exist as a distinct being, your distinctiveness is in comparison to other creations. No other creations, no individual you.)
Misha's importance and distinctiveness are beginning to be noticed, there's beginning to be some kind of rip-tide here that will soon become a wave of recognition for a book that the world is beginning to catch up to... We weren't ready before. We'd better be ready now. Because it's the 21st century, any minute now, and that means that Misha's time has come. In more ways than one.
As I have come to realize that we all live and move and have our being in God, the names of each person, species, creature, and element are superimposed over God's name. God is reality; God is the source of reality of each of us. Panentheism seeing the world as in God - puts God's "name" first, but each of our names are included and preserved in their distinctiveness within the divine reality.
To be born a Southern woman is to be made aware of your distinctiveness. And with it, the rules. The expectations. These vary some, but all follow the same basic template, which is, fundamentally, no matter what the circumstance, Southern women make the effort. Which is why even the girls in the trailer parks paint their nails. And why overstressed working moms still bake three dozen homemade cookies for the school fund-raiser. And why you will never see Reese Witherspoon wearing sweatpants. Or Oprah take a nap.
Community. A friend started a real estate brokerage a few years ago. By the time she'd added her second employee, she was a pillar of her 35,000-person community. No rule says that only the local banker or car dealer can organize the program to raise supplemental funds for the public library or send the high school band on a well-earned special trip. Participating in community affairs, with time more than dollars, is good business from day one. It gets your name around, adds to your distinctiveness, and, best of all, makes you an attractive employer (which is the key to sustained success).
No one today is purely one thing. Labels like Indian, or woman, or Muslim, or American are not more than starting-points, which if followed into actual experience for only a moment are quickly left behind. Imperialism consolidated the mixture of cultures and identities on a global scale. But its worst and most paradoxical gift was to allow people to believe that they were only, mainly, exclusively, white, or Black, or Western, or Oriental. Yet just as human beings make their own history, they also make their cultures and ethnic identities. No one can deny the persisting continuities of long traditions, sustained habitations, national languages, and cultural geographies, but there seems no reason except fear and prejudice to keep insisting on their separation and distinctiveness, as if that was all human life was about. Survival in fact is about the connections between things; in Eliot's phrase, reality cannot be deprived of the 'other echoes [that] inhabit the garden.' It is more rewarding - and more difficult - to think concretely and sympathetically, contrapuntally, about others than only about 'us.' But this also means not trying to rule others, not trying to classify them or put them in hierarchies, above all, not constantly reiterating how 'our' culture or country is number one (or not number one, for that matter).
Edward W. Said