Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Being Different

What's wrong with being different?

Perhaps it depends on your reason for being different.  Or for being the same.

For many, lacking any rationale other than different for the sake of being rebellious, there is no real justification.  And if you are the one sticking your neck out, you risk having your head chopped off.

Following rules and conforming to norms is not a bad thing.  But being different as a way to show off may lead to adverse consequence.  As long as we have confidence that doing something different is the result of a wise decision, it will probably serve us well.

There are sometimes problematic circumstances when being different is not altogether a choice.

An example from an earlier post...

A few years ago, when I was more able, I was hiking cross-country from the east side of US 89, out across the pinnacles area, through the Buggy Wheel Springs access. See the Birdseye comment for more detail about that area. Anyway, as I approached the pinnacles from the west, I was watching the elk. I stayed far enough away that I did not think I would spook the herd, but they obviously spotted me moving in  the scrub, and started browsing away. Suddenly I noticed a WHITE animal, far on the outskirts of the herd. It was a very large herd at the time, several hundred animals, more than I could reliably count heads with my field glasses, because they were moving. But the one animal was so obviously WHITE from top to bottom that he stood out starkly in contrast to the others.

Apparently, he was albino. I watched until they browsed across the ridge and I could no longer see them.

One of the most remarkable things I noted while watching the herd was that they seemed to shun the albino member. He stayed on the outskirts of the grazing area, and the other animals shoved him or shouldered him away when he attempted to graze into the area where they were browsing. I didn't watch long enough to make any real conclusions or studies other than casual observation, but if I was making a guess, I would say that the other animals of the herd discriminated against this white colored animal because he was superficially different from them.

Draw your own conclusions.

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