On Being Different



I realized that I was "different" in elementary school.  I also learned early on how most people react to and treat those who are different.  In my case, different means being a man who is extremely sensitive, empathic, and profoundly creative.  As a boy, I experienced the full wrath of what happens to people who experience, interpret and interact with the world in a way that is vastly different from the collective.  It is only natural for the young boy who experiences the laughter, the bullying and the ridicule to shut down and destroy their own uniqueness as an act of self-preservation.  Somehow though and much to my own surprise, my uniqueness, sensitivities and creativity survived the seemingly endless years of onslaught relatively intact. To this day however, I am always mindful of the power and danger of the collective and its ability to obliterate that, which is most precious and unique in both the world and in myself.  I don't understand why humanity is so quick to stomp on its most precious, rare and unique flowers so brutally and so instinctively.  Why this propensity to destroy and to pound in the square peg with the greatest of force and indifference?  And so, to protect myself from a very real threat, I carved out a mask for myself.  One of strength, dominance and masculinity combined with an unassuming appearance; hiding in plain sight amongst the wolves.   A lamb, so cleverly disguised as the alpha wolf in the pack.