On wednesday, I was just talking to a friend of mine, he was one of the students who didnt meet promotion criteria and had to see the school vice principals regarding his promotion to year 6 and stuff. He'll probably pull through I guess, just have to do relatively well for his re exams.
But interestingly during the conversation, one of the points he brought up was that the teachers that defended him and called for the vice principal's leniency to allow him to promote brought up the point that he was 'eccentric'. As a result of this label on him, it was apparently one of the reasons (though not the main) why he would probably eventually be promoted.
No points for guessing who this person is.
There was a school counselor in the room and on the spot, one of the vice principals said to him point blank that he was eccentric and told him to go see the counselor.
I dont know how large was eccentricity a factor, but certainly in the course of the meeting it can be seen that it was something that was taken note of by the vice principal and it did have effect on how the meeting went.
I was just thinking earlier, what is this 'eccentricity' anyway? Sure all of us who know him know that he is 'different', but think about it. Is it a medical condition? Is it some emotional trauma problem or something like that? Unlikely. In fact its probably just a behavior that he has adopted and gotten used to.
And honestly, if you think about it, does his behavior other that looking queer, really affect anyone? It doesn't really have any harmful effects does it?
If not, then, what does it actually matter?
Society it seems, has imposed upon us certain rules of behavior. Ways in which we should behave. We are often told to act our age, to not be childish and all. I wonder, why is it that we can find children such a joy to have around but older people who act like a child in non important matters are considered to be immature.
I guess in comparison to the average person, I too am eccentric. Like this other guy (except he does it wayyy more), I sometimes skip instead of walking normally. Its not harmful or anything. I enjoy doing it. Skipping for me is like walking, but faster, and more fun. It brings out a sense of elation and joy because well, you can't skip when you're sad can you? Its good exercise too, perhaps one of the many reasons why I eat and dont seem to exercise much but never grow fat.
But lets face it, if I were to skip down the corridor, all eyes will turn on me and wonder what is wrong with this 17+ guy skipping. So immature. So childish. And they will return to their old boring style of walking slowly, shuffling their feets because its 'mature'.
I like to walk weird paths too. My parents always mention that I never walk the normal path. If there are stairs and a thin slope beside the stairs, I would walk by the slope. Same thing, it has a tinge of adventure, even if its just a little. Climbing steps are boring. I dont do any damage by choosing to walk up the slope instead. So whats wrong?
I don't advocate childishness. But I think that there are two types. One, which is the inner child being set free to take in with childlike wonder the world about us. It is the child who can truly appreciate life and live it to the fullest. We often talk about how we wish we were like our younger days, free, unrestrained. Well we can still. Its the glare of society that pins us down.
The other type, is the childishness that wrecks others. Childish behavior such as selfish behavior and all. Funny then, that this type of childish behavior seems more prevalent than the first amongst us the older people but it is in my opinion probably far worse. Perhaps it has even evolved. Gone were the days where we say 'I dont friend you anymore hmph'. Nowadays, we take revenge, we make life difficult for people and all that.
That, in my opinion, is what is really childish.
Childishness of course, is just one part of this whole eccentricity issue. Eccentricity entails essentially doing things that are not the norm. But who says we have to follow the norm. The norm is a fiction created by society. It is not a definite way to live, it is but rules imposed by Man.
We become who society dictates us to be, we conform so that we will not look like we are eccentric. We restrict ourselves, hold ourselves back, trap ourselves in the net of society so that we will not be labeled queer. While we wouldn't mind being extraordinary, larger than life, we would hate to be at the opposite end of the spectrum.
I know I made alot of pokes at Koi and Apple recently and quips about conformity and all, but it is serious. Conformity is the ultimate destroyer of the freedom we have.
I do not advocate that everyone starts going crazy right now, but I wouldn't mind a gradual shift to allow people to really be who they are.
I don't know how true this is, but I am personally convinced that the world will be a happier place.