the lost man chronicles
the daily chronicle
It is mission-critical on this dull ride through life to occasionally be daring enough to be "delightfully strange." Most people are scared to be seen as "different" in any way, if only because of what others might think of them. What is most frightening to me however is how we are all so fricken normal in so many ways. That is scary.
Thus, is it is imperative that we express ourselves in manners that not only distinguish us from every one else, but which hopefully amuse ourselves as well as others. Let's call this the "Dare to be Different" movement.
It is well documented that eccentrics live happier, more stimulating, freer, optimistic, positive and ultimately fulfilling lives than most. Thus, should you care to be any of the above, just believe in yourself enough to express exactly what you feel.
For inspiration one can look to any assortment of cinematic misfits-cum-heroes such as Willy Wonka, Edward Scissorhands, Cyrano de Bergerac, or Dr. Doolittle. The list of real-life eccentric inspiration is quite inexhaustive but to name a few should you care to reference them I would offer William S. Burroughs, Ernest Hemmingway, Richard Feynman, John Nash, Orsen Welles, and Ted Turner.
My personal favorite, one whose epic story was to screen in the film Lawrence of Arabia, was T.E. Lawrence who lived an incredible life an eccentric, hero, thinker, writer, soldier and man-of-action.
Citing a contemporary of his, Rudyard Kipling, I quote as he wrote in his seminal poem— If:
"If you can keep your head when all about you,
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,…"
I call upon Kipling not to recite his guiding light, but rather to play off of it, and extract a different sort of advice. If all those about you are losing their heads, than make sure you let yourself lose yours too. In other words…
Don't let the restraints and rigors of the prescribed safe and sane life drive you mad, when you can avoid all this inner turmoil by simply allowing yourself to let loose ever so often. Be fucking eccentric to the chagrin of all the conservative relatives! Smile when all others are frowning. Dare to laugh at yourself. Have a torrid affair if you have to!
Now this advice "to do something out of the ordinary," comes upon the heels of a pretty heavy shoe. A close family member of mine attempted suicide a few days ago.
In the last year I have come to realize that everyone is trying to escape. Whether it be extreme sports, wanderlust, torrid affairs, promiscuous sex, drugs, alcohol, homicide, obsessive hobbies, whatever, for certain at some point many us try to find a means of escaping a menial life. It so happens that she was vying for a permanent way out. She's "physically" recovered, but family members are still trying to sort out all the sordid details to figure out how to best convalesce her mental state.
Unfortunately, the case of the person who dared take their life is not so unusual. She had succumbed to a life of sacrifice, where everyone else was a priority and where all she did was follow the rules of the game.
His story is not exactly tragic, but when a "good" person like him leads a life like his own—by the book, without complaining, like a beast of burden—the weight will eventually become unbearable. Hence, people have their nervous break-downs, their bloody rampages, their stints or indeterminate stays at asylums, and their suicide attempts.
This is all without mentioning the plague of "morality" that his and likewise many American families purport. On the face of it, there is absolutely nothing wrong with advocating the Ten Commandments and wholesome American values, but there is a point where it festers into hypocrisy. Underneath this endemic veil of keeping up appearances these families and individuals are wrought with pain and problems.
Surely these are all good people. They make an honest effort paying the price of latent hypocrisy, discontent, unhappiness, disgruntlement, and children with unhealthy high expectations.
It is no wonder that people submit to cults and clubs and religion. It is so much easier to live when someone else makes the rules. Ignorance is truly bliss, because you do not have the burden of thought. So, when you are asked to chant "Om," and have given up all worldly possession, you of course are destined to be quite happy.
But if you want to be happy in this daily so-called "normal" life there is a way to do so without having to submit to a destiny of prescribed wholesomeness and the subsequent surreptitious or even blatant means of escaping. To be happy simply do not obligate yourself, do not possess.
And most of all, be eccentric.
"Don't allow life to become just a dead end ritual. Let there be moments, unexplainable. Let there be a few things that are mysterious, for which people will think you are a little crazy. A Man who is a hundred percent sane is dead. A little bit of craziness by the side is always a great joy. Go on doing a few crazy things, too. And then meaning will be possible." ~ Creativity, osho
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