A man walks into the room looking for help with something. He leaves without anything being said save that there can be no help for him here. Then, without missing a beat, one person turns to another and a conversation begins about the departed man.
Mademoiselle Blancmange: “You know that guy?”
An intruding Yorkshire man: “I’ve seen him about. Why?”
Mademoiselle Blancmange: “He’s weird.”
An intruding Yorkshire man: “Is he?”
Mademoiselle Blancmange: “Every day, at exactly 12 o’ clock he has his lunch. He’s really weird. He always eats at the exact same time every day no matter what.”
She continues this way until it is revealed a few moments later that the man has diabetes and has to eat at regular intervals during the day to avoid the inevitable repercussions.
Apparently this strict routine alone was enough to consider him ‘weird’ in her eyes. I then reflect does this make people with any kind of maintained routine strange? Do we not all have a morning routine at the very least? It is no irony that these same people on a later day complain of someone ‘stinking’ implying that a regular bathing had been missed for whatever reason thus routine is both ‘weird’ but a necessary evil to them then I assume. The mindset of the lazy armchair critic who has the answers but takes no action to better the world they find themselves in.
Certainly, I believe we can all agree someone with OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder) has developed a routine of actions which interfere with their lives, and there is no questioning this. However at what point does a routine become ‘weird’? Using the toilet regularly? Are regular bowel movements therefore ‘weird’ – certainly I imagine there any number of ill or elderly people who would envy such a display of routine? I remember reading in Primo Levi’s ‘If This Is Man’ that one WW2 prison camp inmate who could evacuate his bowels on command was the envy of all the others there it was such an extrodinary skill. Is having a regular job ‘weird’ when it provides a reliable source of income? What would be achieved without routine when it can be put off until tomorrow?
Maybe we should look at what that word ‘weird’ means then:
Weird (wɪəd/): adjective weird; comparative adjective: weirder; superlative adjective: weirdest
1. Suggesting something supernatural; unearthly.
synonyms: uncanny, eerie, unnatural, preternatural, supernatural, unearthly, other-worldly, unreal, ghostly, mysterious, mystifying, strange, abnormal, unusual; eldritch;
Informal: creepy, spooky, freaky;
Antonyms: normal, ordinary
Informal: very strange; bizarre.
synonyms: bizarre, offbeat, quirky, outlandish, eccentric, unconventional, unorthodox, idiosyncratic, surreal, crazy, absurd, grotesque, peculiar, odd, curious, strange, queer, cranky, freakish, insane, zany, madcap, off-centre, far out, alternative; outré;
Informal: wacky, freaky, way-out, rum;
Informal: wacko, off the wall, in left field, bizarro
2. Archaic: connected with fate.
So we come to the following conclusions:
- Not normal – Well he had diabetes not that it was anyone else’s business. Diabetes is more common than it should be but he shouldn’t be judged for that.
- Connected to a person’s destiny – Yes I can imagine the critical person developing diabetes. That person is far too judgemental of others. As it says in the Bible in Matthew 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” The same lesson exists in many other forms too in other places. Put simply: Don’t criticise others for their minor failings when you yourself have far more obvious ones.
People are people. Some are cruel. Some are odd. Some just want to live a life without needless cruelty. Sadly some people thrive on cruelty when they know there will be no repercussions. There are bad people in the world but there are also good people. You just have to find the good ones and ignore the bad ones who only seek harm to others through whatever means they have to hand. It is the only way they themselves can feel ‘normal’ in whatever way they believe that is achieved.
The world is a better place for people with weird routines. Nothing would get done without routines and everything would be the same without the ‘weird’ ones contributing towards a more diverse world.
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