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To begin, you need to understand that the phrase "keep pace," which we now associate only with speed, would have meant something more along the lines of "keep rhythm" in today's usage, although speed might have been implied as well. The image of a group marching to the beat of a drum, whether this is a parade or a military unit, suggests conformity and orthodoxy. To "march to the beat of a different drummer" is simply to live in a way that is outside the norm. I take this quote to mean that if someone is eccentric or doesn't share your same values, goals, etc. then he or she simply has a different take on life, and that you should respect that person's views whether or not they are your own.

ANSWER: People love their systems, and most people thrive in established systems, others don't. If you are not flourishing and prospering living your life the way every one else thinks you should be doing it, stop doing it that way, and march to the beat of your own drum.

2008-05-28 07:23:26
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