Just Be Happy I Don't Have a Twin

"The salvation of the world consists in the salvation of the individual soul".
                                   --C.G. Jung (1875-1961)

I was walking in Kentucky one day
and saw an old dude in a yellow t-shirt--
JUST BE HAPPY was written on it,
and as I walked up closer I saw
another sign in smaller letters--
it said: I don't have a twin.
And I guess I know what it meant
but somehow it got stuck in my head--
"Just be happy I don't have a twin"--
this phrase kept on repeating itself
over and over...
Yes, I thought to myself, we all like
to think that we are unique, that there's
no one quite like ourselves, and we like
to believe that this is so... but is it?
We have unique fingerprints and DNA,
and even identical twins are not quite
the same, as they develop different
personalities--but are we really all that unique?
And does it matter? Or are we just molded
by what's around us? Some Hollywood
type cast heroes or villains, stereotypical
yuppies, hippies, punks, hillbillies, rednecks,
or bible thumpers, bigots, dykes, nerds,
drag queens, princesses, bitches, sluts, bimbos,
Jesus grannies, misfits, and macho bullies--
conservatives, liberals, radicals, communists,
anarchists, libertarians, socialists, fascists--
Or is there anything new and original?
What's the difference between writing a poem
or a Hallmark card? Between bleeding your words
on paper and writing a political ad?
Between a copy and the original?
A suicide bomber killed at least 16 people
in Jerusalem today--and there are many others
like him who would've done the same--
there is nothing unique and original about it,
nothing unique or original about those girls who
want to look and sing like Madonna
and Britney Spears,
nothing unique about Marilyn Manson fans--
the pop culture thrives on sameness, the market targets
the groups with common identifying features--
you only think that you're unique--
but you're just part of some mindless herd...
What if they had a war and nobody came?
What if they had an election and nobody came?
What if everyone were truly unique and real?
What if people thought for themselves?
No government, no religion, no churches,
no patriotism--just being who we are.
Not beautiful, not ugly, not weak, not strong--
but all of the above.
An individual--an undivided self.
Just being happy with who you are.

                                                        June 11, 2003
                                                     --Alexander Shaumyan