Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.
One of the saddest of things to me is to know of people who have been disappointed in life, who have to give up on things they had hoped for. To have one's heart and mind set on something, on some good goal, a blessing, an achievement, and have to give it up, is tragic. It happens to all of us to one degree or another.
One of the frequent reasons for its happening is that we plan to do things the way we are supposed to. We are usually too young to know ourselves sufficiently to accommodate changes and unexpected events which define us differently from the life, personality and character we have given ourselves.
The people in my family and my friends' families tried to live very doctrinaire, orthodox lives. They did the things and thought the things they were "supposed to." I didn't, and as a result I was being called "abnormal." It took me many years to get over the idea that my abnormality was a curse of some kind, that I needed to have my "head examined."
I knew a man who, while still young, was a successful artist out west. He married and came east expecting to establish himself here in his field. But he and his wife soon started having children he had to feed and clothe. So he gave up his dreams and put himself into a higher paying position in which he was also successful. I met him again years later and found that he was remorseful at not having had the life he dreamed about for himself.
I took a lesson, partly from him, partly from others I knew who were suffering the same sadness and from myself when I got enough influence from writers and other artists to accept my abnormalities and move on with life. The results I have suffered as a result have all been bearable.
I've observed from my life in theatre how easy it is for some people to fall into the trench of sameness, of doing things the way you are supposed to do them. On the other hand I've also seen to my great joy other people who have been welcome deviates, those who have eschewed the proper way of doing things and broken down confining walls in the process.
You can always tell when someone has turned his back on the norm, branched out into the world of imagination and progressed into a saner place by the imitators he gets. But those imitators have simply taken the inovations and made them the norm, "the way to do things." Thus progress is made.
Thank heaven there are always going to be people who are willing to be abnormal, to be deviates and to show the world a better way to go.
DB - The Vagabond
(This is not a contest.)
At what event of the past do you wish you could be present? Why?
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