It is not only a matter of choice between wether the industry or the person will develop. Feeling different for no obvious reason causes stress, anxiety and depression. Children are (have always been, that has never changed) good at identifying and pursuing the unusual. On a good side, their sensitivity encourages expectation of adventure, magic and secrets. On a bad side, it encourages feelings of possession, oppression and abuse. Not seldom bullying occurs as a natural flock reaction: children literary smell when one in a group has different vibes. And unfortunately like many other things in life, creation takes time and loads of invisible effort while destruction goes on fast and easy; and here we go, a program of breaking down a different kid is launched. The more rare one’s set of competences and personality are, the less is chance that someone can relay to his/her situation and interfere with support. Outsidership and bullying are common reasons of psychological ill-health at young age. The problem is that it is seldom that people get help with their identities and capacities at young age, there are simply neither resources nor tradition for that. So growing older, people just get used to pretend and get busy providing their living, not that they are feeling any better.
How is it, to go through life and feel you are an outsider? You build up your life and learn how to interact with people, how to build relations, how to adjust and adopt. To follow the common social rituals certainly helps to bring yourself closer ”in”, to the center of our social universe. We get better at it as we grow older and become responsible adults. At that point, there will be several categories of adults: a few those who are 100% comfortable with the social, learning and interacting routines, a few those who are 100% off the grid and non-included; together they may form one third of population. The two thirds left are those who need more or less effort to match the average, conventional, predictable, safe and sound normality level. But do we actually have a ”normal” majority? Let us ask ourself a question, recollecting all the people we met or knew in our life: how many of this /happily/ adjusted majority do actually feel authentic, being in connection and peace with themselves? I dare to think that if we check out the group of socially well-functioning adults, we will in fact discover that apart from perfectly fitted individuals (that are as many as non-fitted at all), share of people who find it challenging to fit, and those who find it enjoyable to strive, are about the same. What we perceive as ”most people” is in fact a number of groups with more or less difficulties to adjust to each other. We are no solid unity of sodium, we are a (big) number of groups with somehow similar challenges and thrills. The higher is the threshold of differentiation, the more homogenous the community looks: the more we ignore the individual or group differences, the easier it is to believe that we all are the same. It would be easy the way, too, that’s why the concept of human rights is easy to love: it says, we all are equal, we need to be treated same way. But, if treated the same way, how many people will not get their needs or talents met? We are getting there eventually, with recognizing the needs and providing social care; how is it going with the talents? Do we have a wide spread understanding for deviant competences, routines and professional followup for people who demonstrate a different way of communicating, learning or behaving? No we really don’t; we tolerate the deviations until the limit of normality and then we demand a mandate of acceptance: are you rich and famous to be able to afford to be eccentric? Are you mentally ill? Are you joking or provoking? Meeting a new set of competences or behavior, we tend to evaluate it whether it presents danger or possibility for own winning, but seldom can accept it for what it is and initiate research of what it could develop into.
This attitude towards normal and special, wishful and scary, majority and extremums, examples and exceptions is represented globally, regardless country, generation, gender, economic or education level there will be the same situation: a little top and bottom of achievers, and a ”normal majority” which in fact is a number of groups, unified.
If we believe in pluralism in politics, how come we don’t think about pluralism in learning, feeling, behaving or communicating? Let’s face it, there is no such thing as normal majority, there are huge number of groups: global but with not necessarily many members in, that we merge together for the sake of simplicity. There is a public contract and a capacity of a big group of people to conform to this contract. Due to absence of any alternative. What we perceive as normal, is just a huge part of population keeping up appearances.