Volume 11, Number 6
26 October 2004

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This Week

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I wouldn't hesitate to say that every human being wants to be different from others. It's such an obsession that we always talk about why we humans are different from other animals. We're so sure that there is something that distinguishes our species from other species. We certainly know that our planet is a special planet. If being a Homo sapiens were a job, thinking about the difference between “me” and “others” would be an absolute requirement for the job.

Lack of difference means being identical to someone else. If any two things or people are identical, they are replaceable. And any normal person would deny that this is the case for him/her. This is not only about existence. It's about taking one's place in any whole as a non-replaceable element. Every employee wants the boss to say that his/her work is unique. The favorite sentence in a yearbook write-up is always the same: "It will be impossible to find another such friend."

Despite the fact that the real difference among people lies in their individual experiences, we tend to express our differences by differentiating our appearances and styles. This popular solution, which deals with the result instead of the source, is way easier than the other alternative.


But you can witness the results of this "easier" way all around you, every day in any crowd. People, who let their lives pass without daring to learn anything new, try to be different in the way they look. Unsurprisingly, and ironically, most of them end up looking identical to each other. However, though you can see hundreds of identical sweaters, you can never come across two identical experiences. Each experience is unique. Thus, the "harder" way enables you to create your own distinctive existence: a chance to really exist.
Most of us are going to graduate within a few years. We all plan to be happy after wearing all black in the Odeon. Since hundreds of graduates will possess the same diploma from the same high-quality university as ours, we won't reach success unless we can give a good answer beyond our good looks when somebody asks, "Why should I choose you?" I guess that's why this campus features social activities alongside a valuable education: To make us able to discover the answers within.


İsmail O. Postalcıoğlu (POLS/II)


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