Ever since I was a kid, I felt like I didn’t fit in. To anything.
I was a bookworm between the ages of 9 and 13. Loved maths. And physics. Soon after that, I realized that I was a nerd to the core. And to top that off, I was a geek. With that came my interesting (not-so-interesting to most) habits. Mild ones were like stamp and coin collecting. Doing puzzles was another. More geeky ones were like reading comic books, watching butt loads of anime and scifi TV and movies.
God calls us all to be something and someone. After much struggle at self-acceptance of who I was, I realized that it takes one to know one. Being a misfit helped me identify with other misfits… of most kinds. Misfits appear because of only one reason: unacceptable attitudes of others who follow the norm. Some of the most unaccepting kinds are also liberal and democrats. What gives?! I thought liberals were supposed to be the most “open minded”! (runs to the corner and embraces for projectiles)
Taking the name calling aside, unless you were in the popular crowd, we all have had different and unique habits and hobbies at least once in our lives. If not yet, it will come later in life. Human’s simplest desires are basic, and one of them is simply to be accepted for who we are. Not demanding changes, but simply making the effort to understand and comprehend.
Once you start going calling people misfits, and different, you go towards worse places: prejudice and genocides. That’s what you do towards those that seem out of place in order to make yourselves look better. In the words of Jack Nicholson in “Mars Attacks”, “Little people, why can’t we all just get along?”
Preventing things like Darfur genocide and anti-semitism, and racism all begins at the basic level… learning to accept people who are different from us. And that’s 99.9999%!
9 Replies to “Misfits”
What’s with this rant? Did something happen? Btw, I also collected stamps!!!
Ha! Then you are a misfit!! 😛 J/K…
I was writing an article for an online magazine called “The Brew” about similar topic… and made me think on this topic some more. I have always been a passionately mad person at hatred (ironic?) and how it tears people apart.
Yeah, me too 🙂 I always heard the phrase “You are weird”. Of course, I don’t really think I was that bad. So, I couldn’t figure out why people were saying that. Most of it was just everyone being so immature (me included). Have to admit that I could be real hard to follow sometimes because my thoughts jumped all over the place during a conversation, which was fun to do with friends.
However, it took a long time to get comfortable with doing things that I liked doing instead of doing what everyone else seemed to like doing. Like continuing to make paper airplanes and rolled paper bag airplanes. Some of the airplanes flew over 100 feet outside in the field alley. Really great planes.
Enough about me! It’s good to have friends from all different backgrounds.
Ok, hopefully I dont come looking like a jerk as this is your blog and I dont want to seem like pissing in your cheerios but….
You know, Peter, when I first read this, I thought oh well Pete’s on a rant about something, but there was something in my mind that really bugged me about this.
The foremost is the parallels that you place between what happened in places like Darfur or what happened to the Jews in the holocaust to what happened to you in jr high or high school. Lets give the victims of those atrocities some respect and not compare them to something that happened to like 98 percent of us. Oh also with the gordian knot of racial, ethnic, tribal, clan, religious, political and other threads that go into it, I am also dubious on this claim that an individual’s basic acceptence of people that are different is the 99 percent of the cause. About the only thing you can say is the 99.9999 percent of the cause is the fallen nature of man.
Second is this thing about accepting someone as they are. This is cliche that has been thrown around so much and if that is all there is, it is lazy, hypocritical and in some cases damaging. Lazy, since in practice all this thought does is lead people to be indifferent to things and/or build walls. If you really care about someone, you will go beyond that and do the hard work of trying to change them for the better. Hypocritical – well you already noted how people who seem the most liberal and spout this idea out as some of the most intolerant to those that do not toe the liberal ideological lines. Heck, see what happens to smoking in some of these more liberal cities such as Seattle or what happens to those that deny anthropomorphic global warming with these guys or tell a joke that may offend certain groups. Damaging since there are some characteristics that a person should not accept in others.
Anyway, my 2 cps.
Those are some good points… especially the one where some of our traits are just downright damaging. However, I am focusing mostly on personality traits that are more or less just that… personality.
I have to disagree with you though on the part that you refer to as cliche’ where our treatment towards those that are different from us lead to the extremes of racism and such.
Yes, we have fallen and it does come mainly from that. However, I am mostly speaking about the perception that humans place on being different and the stigma we place on our being “different” from each other, however that may get translated.
What I meant as cliche is the statement: ‘we should all accept people as they are’
I hear that platitude or variations of that so much that it is no wonder you feel that those that spout it the loudest seem to be the most hypocritical. Again, I say go try smoking a cigarette in a building in Seattle. Go tell an un-pc joke on a college campus. See how accepted you are in these bastions of tolerance.
As for this idea stigma of being different and such, now I feel you are just playing semantics with me. What I meant by what I wrote is that you were talking about how you felt like you were some misfit and how you may have been treated when you were younger by your peers then you go and make a projection on how this type of treatment is a basis for stuff that happened in Darfur or Holocaust or other places and times where real atrocities happened and I am saying that is ridiculous. First because it minimizes the real atrocities by juxtaposing it with something that probably 98 percent of us went through. Second with all of the other threads of motivation, unless you define being different into something so wide that having it as a criteria really has no use, thereare many other things that would compel some roving gang of thugs to butcher a person and his family because he was some geek in junior high.
Ok, perhaps I can explain my feelings with a personal example. When I first went to 2nd grade elementary, there was these two kids in 2nd grade that followed me home and started calling me chink all sorts of other stuff near my house. I remember chasing them around my house (before we got a fence). Heck, at school I remember being called small eyes, flat face, etc etc. To say that those guys that did that as 2nd graders would possibly grow up to be like some guys in Darfur that butcher or enslave whole families to me is ridiculous. I laugh at it all now cause some of those guys grew up and became my friends.
All I am saying is only I can say with 99 percent certainty on why evil happens in this world is because man is a fallen creature.
Perhaps I wasn’t clear… but when you get down to the basis of racism and bigotry and such, the foundation of that is (next to fallen nature of man) that humans are very weary and cautious … it arises from the fact that we aren’t very tolerable nor very accepting by nature. I’m not saying that we should embrace killers and psychopaths (though in conceptual levels, we should, and to whatever practical levels), but if we all tried put ourselves in each other’s shoes, I think there will be definitely less violence all around us.
Call me naive and simple, but what may seem impossible at first, becomes possible with Christ. And your first example about telling un-pc joke on campus is more out of context than what I am implying here.
And lastly, I welcome any comments. I normally don’t get many so don’t worry about it. 🙂 Normally, I write as if I’m the only reader. That may explain my writings a bit better…
ok, we are kinda talking past each other here as my point has been 2 fold
1. comparing what a vast majority of us went through in terms of our fitting in issues and those that may have called us names or harassed us or whatever to things that are happening in Darfur and people that are doing it is kinda ridiculous.
2) this ‘cant we all just get along’ thing is a cliche – it’s a platitude that even those that are the biggest proponent of, does not really follow. That is why the example of un-pc jokes on college campuses is apropos. And that it adds nothing to the discussion.
However, I want to address some of what you say in a more general level. You seem to think that violence is an emotional reaction stemming from people’s prejudices, jealousies, fears and the like. I will grant that in some petty crimes of passion type of things, those can be a prime cause. However, in something of the more larger scale, I believe it is not – I would submit that violence is caused by calculation and stems not from emotion but from reason – however irrational it may be. In other words, there is a point to it and there is a structure behind it. It is not just some wailings of some emotional man. I mean, in WW2 Germany was allied with Italy and Japan and was in a carnage fest with a group of people that were even more blue eyed and blonde haired than they were (the Soviets). The fear, jealousy, prejudice, hate, etc can be leveraged to give an emotional bump, but there has to some reasoning mind behind it. The reasoning may not make sense to us as some people reason using different tradition than what we in the western world got from the Greeks…
Anyway, I have more to say, but I need to spend some time with the family. 🙂
that is one *yawn* very interesting *stretch* dialog