i have a fondness for those people who inhabit the metaphorical 'outskirts'.
those individuals living on the peripheries.
this is not to say i would necessarily consider myself a member of those particular sections [sic] of society that the lumpen majority seem to [irrationally] fear or [ignorantly] pour hatred upon [oft times both go hand in hand].
one important thing that has struck me since adulthood is the marked difference between these minorities and the majority.
those people who inhabit the peripheries seem altogether more real than almost all people i meet and would consider part of the majority [subjective of course].
the people in the minorities [this used in a non-racial sense] seem far truer to themselves, more open and almost always much more genuine.
i see the majority of people belonging to the 'majority' or 'mainstream' [once again subjective] as being nothing more than actors.
this is particularly true when i have the chance to see them in a social gathering or communal setting.
the majority of the majority are never quite what they seem.
they are, more often than not, acting in a way that they assume their peers wish them to act.
not acting as they wish to act themselves.
i happen to know one person who lives an entirely bisected 'double' life.
one side [its behaviour deemed 'wrong' by the majority] exists in absolute isolation with regard to their other 'real' life. a real life which is a sham. an act.
this contradictory state can often lead to severe cognitive dissonance.
as wikipedia explains, cognitive dissonance appears when an individual is aware [sometimes subconciously] that they are holding two opposing positions, or contradictory ideas.
this may result in an individual behaving in an excessive way to offset the dissonance.
if a man is homosexual, yet has not 'come out', and lives amongst heterosexual peers, he may behave in an excessively masculine way to offset his personal feelings of dissonance.
such behavior as this is displayed by a fine example of cognotive dissonance, the sublimely hypocritical Ted Haggard:
"we don't have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It’s written in the bible."
dear old ted!
the person i know who leads a double life lives in this manner due to fear.
fear of the horrified reaction of peers should the actual truth be offered.
as always, these reactions would be based on ignorance, fear and stupidity.
such is the nature of herds.
and thus to the idea that those living [to a greater or lesser extent] 'outside' the herd can behave in a manner that is truer to themselves. they act, think and believe as they see fit.
not as their peers wish them to.
this is why i hold them in such high esteem.
flickr has afforded me some wonderful gifts.
one of these gifts has been the opportunity to become acquainted with some of the very people i describe above:
those who suffer persecution.
those who suffer bigotry.
those who suffer hatred.
from the majority.
my respect for these people is profound.
i find their strength and fortitude wonderful and life affirming.
and they are true.
and as such.
they are real.
big love to the outsiders, wherever they may be.
end of transmission.
"to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ralph waldo emerson
the wonderful quote above was purloined from my very real flickr contact shannon jax:
hit her stream and go look at what a real person does :)