Monday, July 28, 2008

No Man is an Island...

For quite some time now, I have felt the rumblings of a broadening schism in my life. I feel isolated and secluded, not merely in the physical sense, but in more metaphorical and philosophical terms as well. The chasm is intangible, psychological, yet has the same effect on the psyche as gazing out across the Grand Canyon.

I remember peering into a parking lot weeks ago, seeing pigeons clustered together seeking out food. On the fringe of the flock stood a few gulls, standing out like a sore thumb. Segregated by differences.

I can relate entirely.

I feel greatly disassociated from many people I know, much as a rat would feel in the company of mice. It is possible to cloak oneself in his surroundings for brief periods, but the charade is difficult to maintain. I am not someone who can set aside their differences with ease. I pride myself in being an individual: viewing life and the world from a multitude of angles. Convention is, at times, a foreign concept to me. My likes and dislikes may be obscure, but they are my own.

If a baby chick becomes injured and bleeding, the others will peck it to death, viewing it as an unwanted foreign intruder. Human beings react in the same manner. We tend not to embrace diversity as much as attack it. Ostracize it. In all walks of life, conformity is never cast upon us but merely alluded to in not-so-subtle ways.

We expect things and even make demands of others. Behaviors must rhyme with those of our peers. Opinions which do not mirror our associates are mocked and ridiculed. Gestures are taken for granted. Equality and selflessness become idealistic myths in the pastures of our society. The same thoughts are regurgitated time and again as we chew on the cud of our existence.

While we all have the same wants and needs, no two people are alike. Each of us is the product of his or her own environment, beliefs, and upbringing. Differing views and lifestyles are not wrong by being different. Prioritizing wants in an unconventional way isn't wrong. Asking for harmony or the return of a favor is not ludicrous or selfish.

Many of us fail to see the world beyond our own eyes. We fail to realize that differences are wonderful, giving and receiving go hand in hand, and everyone wasn't meant to be the same. Maybe we're too busy casting judgment.

1 comment:

Zathyn Priest said...

Very well said. For a long time all I wanted to was to fit in with what was considered 'normal', until I realised that 'normality' - what ever that word means - would only make me less than who I am.

The beauty in this world, and in people who inhabit it, isn't in the things that are the same. It's the unusual, the unique, and different that make life worth living.