Be yourself to be different

by See-ming Lee
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Oscars 2024.

I always wanted to be different, but now I realize that I just need to be myself.

— Da'Vine Joy Randolph, acceptance speech, Best Supporting Actress, Oscars, 2024.

I love this quote — that you just have to be yourself to be different — that everyone is uniquely special when they’re themselves.

It’s how I feel about it also — but I also feel that it does take a special place and community of people who appreciate the importance of diversity to allow everyone to shine.

Often, people talk about the importance of “finding your tribe”.

But when you’re someone so different and don’t feel that you fit in anywhere, that tribe is not one where everyone is similar.

That tribe is the tribe that recognizes the beauty of diversity — that tribe is the one that allows everyone to shine brilliantly simply because of how different everyone is.

I learned about this quote because it was posted to the Yale Alumni group. Da'Vine Joy Randolph graduated with an MFA from the Yale School of Drama in 2011.