Who Are You?

Who are You ?

From my perspective, there are only three categories to which human beings can belong. Some are destined to be leaders. Most are to be followers. And some others are to be, well, … ‘ others ‘. Leaders can be made, but they tend to be born that way. Some search out and embrace the mantle of leadership, while some have it thrust upon them through expediency and circumstance. Followers can be made or born to their fates as well, dependent on environment and happenstance. Members of both groups may not be either leaders or followers all the time. Overlap is great, as may be expected, for we are a complicated and varied species and are unique, each in their own way, with strengths and weaknesses incalcuable. Which one might you be?

Then, of course, there are the ‘ others ‘. This category is reserved for those individuals that find themselves either unable to embrace that responsibility of leadership or unable to become part of the ‘ herd ‘. There are more reasons than we could even touch on today for this behavior. Let us suffice to say that they are different from most other people. We know who most of them are. Most of them know who they are, as well. I feel sorry for those that never come to understand their ‘ otherness ‘. They drift between both groups, somewhat lost, sometimes even enjoying a modicum of ‘ success ‘, and yet are always searching for an explanation and a reason for their reality. As we all do to some extent.

We call them lone wolves. Rebels, outcasts and drifters. And those are the better labels. Losers and bums. Miscreants and renegades. The derogatory terms take a turn for the worse from there. To me, I call these free spirits interesting and sometimes even friends. Why? Because I believe I have insight to that world wherein they live and the reality they perceive. I just may have been one of these ‘ others ‘. To be sure, many of them do not find their way in life and go in bad directions, create bad situations for themselves and others, commit inappropriate and destructive acts, hurt people and come to sad and tragic ends. Many deservedly so. But that happens with individuals from every section of our society as well, whether underprivileged or overprivileged. Is that not so?

So why are we talking about these ‘ others ‘ today? There are so many related topics to this subject I am not sure in which direction to go. We will talk about the ‘ others ‘ much more in the future. But today, let’s go with …. Diversity. Our society is so wrapped up with diversity, but it really does not embrace the concept of diversity at all. They do not truly understand what the word means. Don’t get me wrong. They love the word. It makes them feel good about themselves. It allows them to feel superior. If only they knew what it actually means. Diversity is the inclusion of all the ‘ others ‘ even when you do not particularly like or approve of them. You do not have the right to pick and choose who fits your definition of diverse. It is not just those ‘ others ‘ that fit your ideology and agree with you. Diversity is all-inclusive. The liberals say the conservatives do not like blacks and gays and the poor. The conservatives say liberals do not like God and freedom, our country and people who actually work for a living. The sad part is that they are both right! At least to some extent. And inexcusably wrong. Just so much love and tolerance and diversity going on here I just cannot make up my mind which one I like better. Or which one is worse. I choose … neither. They both are so totally petty, intolerant, bigoted and prejudiced. They both do a completely horrendous job of representing ‘ we, the people ‘, and are continually doing a great disservice to you and to me, and to the country as a whole. To the concept of America.

Diversity is indeed one of the things that makes this country great. But being different should not exclude you from being included in this society. Being nonconformist should not preclude you from having the opportunity to experience and enjoy the benefits of America. We live in a land that presupposes freedom for all, irrespective of the view of the majority. That is one of the primary reasons that this is a ‘ Great American Experiment ‘ to begin with. Our country has been a beautiful example for all the world to see, and our success is directly related to that freedom. There have been shortcomings, to be sure, but we are indeed that ‘ shining city upon a hill ‘ that we all envision for ourselves and all that will follow us. Take the time to explore and understand the ‘ others ‘. They may surprise you.

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