Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Deviant's Dilemma

At times in the past I’ve mentioned Tom Morris, a modern-day public philosopher who lives in Wilmington, NC. Tom is a Carolina grad who, after receiving a Ph.D. in both philosophy and religious studies from Yale University, won about ever teaching award given at Notre Dame University. He heads up the Morris Institute and has written a bag-full of great books. My favorite is True Success. Google "Tom Morris" after reading this and you'll see some good stuff.

Anyway, Tom had an essay published online on The Huffington Post recently and the gist of it was that he says this is the year to “Be True To You!”

He makes a great point that “penguins don’t flourish in Miami Beach. Nor do alligators in Antartica.”

There’s lots of this, “You be you,” kind of advice out there. Russell Simmons says, “Do you.”

So, why don’t we?

What keeps us from truly being…well….us?

Usually the fears of being “found out” keep us walking on the paths others have defined for us.

Think about it…if they find out what we are really like, what will they think? Will they stop loving us? Will they think we are weird or gross or perverted or….what?

There’s a wonderful word I love…deviant. I’ve never seen deviant in the very negative sense that it’s often used. I’ve always seen it as someone or some activity that is simply out there on the edge.

And I can assure you from personal experience, the farther out on the edge you are the more they won’t like it…won’t agree with it…and will see you as an outsider. Which, in essence, you are.

So, here are the questions of the day: Is it better to be who you really are and risk living out there on the edge…and maybe being happy with folks who are also like you? Or, is it better to move with the herd, secure in your place in the group, confident and at peace that you are just…like….them?

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