|Not that I'm being elitist or anything... (Source: Pinterest)|
I have been known to call my cat a "weirdo" on several occasions each day, because lets face it - he is. He loves playing with empty Pepperami wrappers; he rollerskates in the bathroom sink; and today he was caught red-handed eating lemon cake on the kitchen table. My sister tells me not to offend him by calling him names but I don't see being "weird" as an offensive term. It is commonly accepted that I am weird. I turned down a lift the other day when it was pouring with rain, just because I wanted to try out my new raincoat. More often than not I don't complete my sentences and punctuate them with incomprehensible gobbledigook. I enjoy filing. But it is these little habits and quirks which make us all interesting, I think (except perhaps the filing...). Just as everyone is beautiful and fantastic in their own way, everybody is weird in their own way too.
I had a conversation with a ten-year-old recently about what makes a person "cool" - none of these included being good at anything academic. I accept that academics aren't everything but they are something I have always respected and taken interest in. I'm still studying now! But I remember what it was like to be made to feel "weird" for spending my lunchtimes carrying quiz books around the playground and testing my own general knowledge. Extra studying for fun - fancy that! Another thing I was made to feel "weird" for was having vegetable sticks as part of my packed lunch because that wasn't the "cool" thing to be eating circa 1999. My Mum must have been a leader or something in healthy eating then because it seems to be fairly popular these days... Like a lot of labels (and I am not in favour of labels in most cases, unless they are of the sticky, stationery variety), "weird" has an unnecessarily negative stigma attached to it. What is the problem with doing something differently and taking pride in something different to somebody else?
Whilst I recognise that the examples and anecdotes I have included in this post are very trivial, I do believe that the world would be a pretty boring place if we all enjoyed identical hobbies and believed the same things. I suppose there is less emphasis on "weird" being negative as we grow up but I am keen to encourage littl'uns that they can do whatever they are interested in and not restrict their imaginations and ideas. Nobody should fear other people's judgement on something that makes them happy. Part of this, however, stems from lack of self-confidence/belief. How do you reckon we go about instilling this in a younger generation who are so image-/style-conscious?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this - suggestions/thoughts are very welcome in the comments section below.