How ‘Divergent’ inspired me to be more…well…divergent

I rarely get excited about movies anymore. They are all so predictable and similar to each other. Blah.  There are few exceptions to this rule, of course, and one of those is Divergent – that big blockbuster that I’m sure you’ve all heard about. My friend really wanted to go see it and although I wasn’t sold on it right away I decided to go anyway. After Harry Potter ended (and with it, my life) I couldn’t bring myself to get into Twilight or The Hunger Games or whatever the big thing was. And I was sure I was going to feel the same way about this movie. Nope. I was wrong. Divergent was amazing.

I generally don’t get into the whole celebrity hoopla but I find Shailene Woodley to be a refreshing sip of water in an otherwise stale, publicity obsessed Hollywood. I thought she was great as the lead character, Tris, who discovers on the eve of her Choosing Ceremony that she is a Divergent – meaning she doesn’t classify into one faction specifically. She then learns that being a Divergent puts her in serious danger and that she must hide this fact from everyone, including her family and friends. Now don’t worry I didn’t spoil anything but you should see the movie to see how it all plays out. I actually didn’t realize until the end scene that this movie was actually based on a book series (apparently I don’t get out much) and the following Monday my friend had already ordered the whole series just to find out what happens next. I’m definitely borrowing the books when she’s done – which shouldn’t take more than a couple of days I imagine.

Anyway, the overall theme of the movie (and I’m assuming the books as well) is that society tends to pressure us to wanting to be ‘normal’ – whatever that means – and fit into a certain lifestyle or social class. Divergent people, or those tending to be different, are labeled as weird and whatever. But the truth is we’re all different, we all have unique personalities and skills and ambitions. And there is so much beauty in that.

Lately I’ve been looking inward at myself and trying to observe my behaviors. I realize I tend to be safe and diplomatic – like I don’t want to offend anyone. And although that sounds fine what it actually means is that people generally don’t have a strong opinion about me, positive or negative. People tend to forget passive people easier or not really give them a second thought. The most memorable people in the world – politician or leader, celebrity, writer, artist, whatever – were faced with negativity all day every day but they also had die-hard fans. They stood up consistently for what they believed in and separated themselves from the crowd. Some people hated them for it but so many more supported them. Excuse me while I quote Gossip Girl real quick: “You’re no one until you’re talked about.” Okay, so maybe it’s not that extreme but the idea is that it’s not necessarily so bad to be talked about. The truth is not everyone is going to agree with you but I think it makes the ones that do listen and support you so much more significant. At the end of the day people will remember you when you speak your mind and that’s what I think matters.

Divergent people should be celebrated, they are ones that save the world. Maybe not literally but they are the change makers, the inspiration. I strive to be more like that. I want to come out of my shell and make some positive change in the world, and I want to be remembered. It’ll be hard for sure because I’m defying my own human nature but I can certainly speak up more, whether you want to hear it or not, because I have something to say and something to share.

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