“If everybody else jumped off a bridge, would you?”
I heard this question often as a child from well-meaning adults. I hated being asked this. The problem was that I liked jumping off bridges. There was a hint of danger wondering if a train would come down the tracks before I got to the jumping-off point. There was a question of whether the water was deep enough. And of course, there was the question of if I could swim back to shore. In truth, I would jump off the bridge, I just doubted everybody else would.
And if everybody was doing something, would I do it? Well, the majority is not always bad or wrong. And if what they were doing made sense, then why not? I might do it as well. But I haven’t always sided with the majority. In fact, I have found myself usually going against the grain. I don’t eat like everybody else. I don’t find enjoyment in wasting away on the sofa watching television. I may occasionally post to social media, but I abhor the endless scrolling that many prefer to while away the time. And though it often draws the ire of some, I think differently. Rarely do I find myself aligned with the majority. My goal isn’t necessarily to be different, yet here I am.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -Aurelius
Some, even family and friends, have considered me insane. And though their perception of my way of life might suggest so, I believe our definitions of insanity are rather different. To me, insanity is:
- Eating cheap and overly processed food with little nutritional value based on the merit of it being tasty and loaded with sugar.
- Drawing breath and not actually living.
- Constantly watching the lives of others and being triggered by their opinions.
If I can escape that type of insanity, I feel I made the right choice.
Feature photo by davide ragusa on Unsplash