What I Learned From the Law… of the Playground
I wrote in a comment on Damien Riley’s blog a wee while back, that:
I enjoy experimenting and playing with new things and, in many ways, my blog is my playground, and I’m kind of uncomfortable playing according to someone else’s rules. I want to go up the slide the wrong way, hang upside down on the climbing frame, and spin myself dizzy on the swings 🙂
When I was at the playground earlier this week, I was reminded of that comment, and I was struck by the way the analogy corresponds, not just to the way I blog, but to the way I live my life. I don’t enjoy living life on someone else’s terms, and I never really have; I find it too constrictive. Now, I’m not talking here of subverting criminal law, obviously! I’m talking here of societal laws which encourage conformity, the unspoken laws which, as a population, as a culture, as a society, we all implicitly understand and feel compelled to follow. Those that don’t comply are easily recognisable; they are those we call ‘eccentric’, ‘unusual’, ‘unconventional’. But they are also the ones who innovate, who expand our horizons and who extend our expectations. Our world is enhanced by their presence and their perspective. As Daz Cox recently wrote on his blog:
in order for a culture to be healthy there must be aberration, extremes, weirdness in the mix. It’s the concept good old Jim Morrison was talking about when he talked of shamanism. The shaman isn’t there to entertain you or even speak the truth he’s there to be different and by that very difference he strengthens the bonds of a society.
What I’ve found is that life is so much more fun if you bend, twist, warp those playground laws that keep us in our boxes, that regulate our play and dictate our way of being in the world. And, as Daz stresses in his post, it’s not just healthy for ourselves and our own state of mind to practice this deviation, but it’s also beneficial for those around us, and essential for society at large.
Express, experiment, exhilerate. Existing is not enough.
If you want to see a visual metaphor for what I mean, watch this clip. I think you’ll like it 😉
Do you consider yourself an eccentric? Do you revel in your unconventionality? What have you done recently that celebrated your difference, your identity?
PS This post is a contribution to Robert’s What I Learned From The Law group writing project.