Full definition of weird
- of, relating to, or caused by witchcraft or the supernatural: magical
- of strange or extraordinary character : odd, fantastic
From the Merriam-Webster online dictionary
A few weeks ago I was served a scalding hot cup of contempt liberally laced with scorn. My crime? I had “gone all weird” and that was “uncool and unacceptable”. Hmmm….
Why all the hostility? What’s so wrong with being weird? Not a thing. And weirdness is plenty of things that are oh-so-very right.
Weirdness – being strange or extraordinary – as the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition defines it, is the very thing that has pushed individuals and society forward.
Weirdness challenges the status quo. That of course is scary for people like my contempt-pouring barista. But challenging the status quo also means pushing boundaries, taking risks and asking difficult questions. Those activities are the wellspring of innovation and I for one am very grateful for all the mod cons that innovation has brought me.
Weirdness is a bold leader. So many of the most fundamental ideas and values we espouse today were introduced to society by so-called weirdos. A round earth that circles the sun? Crazy talk! Women’s suffrage? Those were some pretty strange ladies chaining themselves to the railings. Smallpox vaccine? Riiiiight. What kind of kook could convince people to be injected with dead viruses? We need our weirdness to fling the door of progress open and shout “Hey, follow me!”
Weirdness gives us the audacity to be authentic. Sure, sometimes authentic people are a little frightening. Their honesty and integrity can cast too bright a light and therefore too long a shadow on individuals or groups who prefer a less candid existence. But authentic people are also honest, respectful of themselves and others, and nonjudgmental. Works for me.
Weirdness is your touch of divine madness. Audacious, authentic and daring, weird people are willing to explore their passions and creativity and give them a voice. Name me an artist or thought leader from any society or era who wasn’t considered weird for his or her time. I don’t think you can. Weirdness pushes us past conventional thinking to embrace new ideas and new modes of being. Whether you love their ideas or works or not, isn’t the world richer, more diverse and simply more intelligent for having had the likes of the Buddha, Hildegard von Bingen, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Elizabeth I, Newton, Wordsworth, Kandinsky and John Lennon and all their weirdness?
Am I weird? You bet! It’s one of the most beautiful things about me. Your weirdness is one of the most beautiful things about you too. It’s your authenticity. It’s your originality. It’s your unbounded joy. So you be weird. Wave your freak flag and shine your weird light so I can find you in the dark.