If you ever want to get a reaction out of people I’ve recently discovered a surefire way to do it, and I guarantee it’ll work. All you have to do is be different.
Now I know that sounds simple and obvious, but I’m not talking about being different in a “normal” way. By normal-different I mean to say: if you get a Mohawk and start hanging out with other people who have Mohawks you’re not different, you’re just normal someplace else. Different means doing things in a way that no one else does: shave half your head, ride around all day on a pogo stick or refuse to wear clothes.
“Now of course those things get a reaction, they’re extreme!” I know, I know… but that’s not really what I mean by being different either. What I have in mind is a bit more subtle. Take me for example, I don’t work. Look at that, a simple three word sentence. I don’t work. Hell, the average language student could say that after a week. Let’s try it: Eu não trabalho. Look at that! I can say in Portuguese and I don’t even know Portguese!
I wish everyone could see the reactions I get from people when I tell them this. A common one is for them to think they have hearing loss, another, that they have brain damage and forgot the meaning of simple words. After this initial denial, we reach the try to explain it stage: “So you’re independently wealthy” or “you’re unemployed for now”. No, no that’s not it either. I just don’t like working, so I don’t do it. “Wait… wait… what?!”
Now I’m not going to get into all the details here. I’m writing a post, not a book. My point for now is that just by being a little different I can get a reaction that ranges from demigod like admiration to antichrist like disgust. Hell, that’s just how my friends react!
Why? What makes being different so terrible and powerful? Why does it cause so much love and admiration, so much anger and resentment?
I have a partial answer to that question, but I’m still working on it. Even if God parted the clouds and spelled it out for me, I’m not sure it’d be worth sharing, since the process of finding it is probably the most valuable part. So there’s my advice for today. Pay attention and next time you find yourself confronted with something or someone truly different don’t just react, but ask yourself why you’re reacting the way you are. You might find out something interesting…