©2013 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee
E is for Eccentric. Well, that is different. Are you weird or something? This is not how we do it. Do it like we do. What are you, a nonconformist, or are you an eccentric?
Do you do things differently? Do you fall in with the crowd, or avoid complying with the lifestyle, methods, and standard, proven ideas offered by your peers? Are you an individual that makes up his/her own mind at all times? Perhaps that is best considered simple non-conformity or originality. If we really think about it, that can be a beneficial position of logic and independent thought. Stand up. Be counted. Be a non-conformist. Good idea–but it is not eccentric.
Being eccentric, although also being non-conformist, goes further. Eccentricity is non-conformity carried far beyond normal behaviour.
How eccentric are you? Do you have strange habits? Abnormal ideas? Do you stick chewing gum on the bedpost? Only eat pizza on Tuesdays? How about wearing a long coat on hot, sunny days? Talk to yourself? Do you leave 3 peas on your plate and save used pop-straws and a rabbit-foot for good luck? How about writing ? Do you write poetry, but only after dark on Fridays?
Quirks of eccentricity, physical or otherwise, may develop as a habit, personal choice, convenience, superstition or religious beliefs, –but equally, may be a result of mental or physical illness, lifestyle, teaching, or as conditioning, a specific reaction to individual events, economic situations or even environmental stimulus.
The sober, habitual picking up of pennies comes to mind, as does the classic and stereotyped ‘bag lady’, the gentle, homeless soul pushing a grocery cart full of black garbage bags, each tied more tightly than the next with bits of twine. She collects articles from the sidewalk in perpetuity and happily chats with her unshaven, raggedly-dressed male counterpart, who wears a tattered, long black winter coat and heavy fur hat under the blazing sun of August. Like him, she will wink at you, unabashedly, and read your mind without shame or fear as she offers you part of her sandwich. The word on the street is, –in truth, unlike her homeless, poor friend, she’s a multi-millionnaire. Her mental illness has similarly created what we may foolishly label an ‘eccentric’.
Who are we to judge what an eccentric is, and what eccentricity really means? What is normal human behaviour? The fact is, we cannot label or stereotype tics, quirks, or habits– except with arrogance –and risk erroneous, naive prejudgment of genuine, worthy human beings when doing so. That’s why E is for eccentric.
Is that Incoming I hear?