Tuesday, January 5, 2010

i-TFTD #239: Dare to Let Others Be Different

i-TFTD #239: Dare to Let Others Be Different

#239-1. Tradition should be a guide, not a jailer.
-Somerset Maugham, English critic and author (1874-1965)

239-2. Commandment Number One for any truly civilized society is this: Let people be different.
-David Grayson [pen name of Ray Stannard Baker], journalist, author (1870-1946)

239-3. A civilized society is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point of doubtful sanity.
-Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963)

It's a cliché to say, "Dare to be different." More of us are afraid to let others be different, I think. We mindlessly pass on proverbs (yes, I notice the irony of saying this in i-TFTD and like it!), eagerly extrapolate our experience to others' situations and generally discourage through various acts of omission and commission.

Eccentric literally means off-centre or away from the centre. It can be understood only with reference to a centre. When explored with a sense of adventure, new (better) centres are discovered. There is a spirit of movement that one can cultivate without sacrificing respect for tradition. There is no contradiction in my appreciating the ancient and the current while also getting excited with the new.

Stability is as much of a fiction as a new configuration that is yet to be attained. The imagined stability is often more dangerous to hang on to, better to flexibly grope. Enjoying the process is paramount. Satisfaction is stagnation.

Many of you wrote back with kind words to my previous post i-TFTD #239: @ 43. One update is that Viyoma was profiled at a blogger interview site. Almost all of you said that my ! post inspired you to make a similar list for yourselves. Thanks for letting me know. Make it.

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