End Weird, Begin Curiosity

“Weird” is something kids say. Not just kids like young in years, kids like young in mental capacity. “Weird” is a cop out, a sad aversion from anything not like us. It’s lazy, overused, and we can do better as intelligent and capable adults. We can and we should.

I don’t though. I say “weird” all the time. I think it all the time. I think combinations of food are weird. I think traditions I don’t practice are weird. I say “that’s weird” when something unexpected happens, when someone does something I don’t agree with, or when I hear a song of a genre I don’t enjoy. 

But “weird” is starting to piss me off. In the country and culture we live in now- and I mean before Trump was even on the scene- we can’t afford to just stop at “weird” and be satisfied. We can’t teach our children that. We can’t model it. We can’t become content with that. We need to go further, because if we don’t, division wins. And saying that is pretty oxymoronic, because how can division ever win? There is no winning if we are separate. And if we are the ones doing the separating, we’re all losing. 

“Weird” is, at its most basic level, a placeholder for “I don’t understand”. When someone says something like “I meditate on Sunday mornings at sunrise” and we say “that’s weird”, we are really saying so much more, and that’s why I think “weird” is a lazy ass cop-out. What we really mean is: “That’s not how I worship or connect with something bigger than myself. I’ve never done that. That is very different than what I do on Sunday mornings, and because it’s different and because I’ve never done it, I don’t understand it.” 

That’s what “weird” means. It means we don’t understand. 

I hope that we can take a giant leap from “that’s weird” to, “tell me about that”, because until we decide that being different isn’t bad; until we decide that “weird” is dividing us and that division is not something we want- we are stuck. We are stuck in a place where we cannot grow and we cannot connect, and as humans, what else are we here for? 

The truth I believe in, though, is a sad one. And it is that “weird” is easier than being curious and uncomfortable, so people will likely stay comfy and divided at “weird” for quite some time. Even so, I’ll be down here in South Louisiana trying to #EndWeird and #BeginCuriosity. I’ll be here trying to connect. I’ll be here doing my part, the only part I can do.