Laughter need not be cut out of anything, since it improves everything.

~ James Thurber ~

Eccentric On The Rocks

October 19th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 40 secs

You can meet odd people everywhere.

You can meet odd people everywhere.

I met a very eccentric fellow today. While I was wandering along the rocks near our local beach, taking seascape photos in the late afternoon, a fellow in a floppy sombrero came up to me and remarked about my picture taking.

Having seen him wandering idly, enjoying the sunshine with some his sons, we then started talking about photography, life, and things somewhat bizarre.

Tim told me that he used to take lots of photos back in the film days, though mostly of his ex-wife in various provocative outfits, as they were fetishists. Then he proceeded to tell me about the topic and why it’s highly relevant.

Looking round, I could still see the rock pools and the beach, looking familiar and serene. But, the more Tim’s kept talking, the more surreal the situation seemed.

From fetishism, Tim moved on to “truth seeking”, that Hitler and Stalin had really just made some very poor choices, and so called conspiracy theorists really aren’t (though that’s how they promote themselves on various websites). Through them we could all see everything as it really is.

Meantime, Tim’s youngest child, like every small boy by the sea, wanting his Dad to take an interest in him and play and perhaps have a paddle in the shallows. But Tim had found his mark and was too busy talking. So he fobbed him off.

By the time I left Tim, I found he had some very colorful views on life, to say the least. Maybe eccentric was being generous. But then, a cross section of any society will reveal all sorts of people with opinions that border on the blatantly bizarre right through to the utterly humdrum. Meanwhile, most of us fit somewhere in the middle between these extremes.

What I sensed about Tim (and no, that’s not his real name) was his sincerity. He really believes what he was saying. Which is why it’s important to know what you think, lest you become vulnerable to people with strong ideas.

The world is full of cults, people with domineering opinions and deceptive persuaders. You don’t even have to leave your house to discover them  (as you already know, quite a few are only too keen to come to you).

Yet, at some stage in life, you need to form your own opinions, based on the best you can fathom and work outwards from there. The more you reason, the better. For unless you do, others will do it for you.

Turn on the TV, the Internet, radio, or flick open a magazine and you get bombarded with messages loaded with values and opinions that all claim to “know”. But, the truth is, nobody can think your own version of truth for you. This you must do for yourself, based on your own beliefs, values, and facts that you yourself have gleaned.

As for me, well I would have you believe that you are a person of worth from birth, that you are capable of as much good (and bad) as you choose, and that happiness for you and I is a valid possibility. I speak up the merit of qualities of character, having meaning that you can believe in, and the benefits of keeping your curiosity breathing.

Still, some will consider these irrelevant, citing there are umpteen paradigms that we can live our lives by. But I come back to qualities and meaning with rock solid belief, knowing that satisfaction, character, purpose, and empowerment are innately freeing. You can choose from an infinite combination of these and life will be rich indeed.

Although, Tim was genuinely eccentric and misguided about Hitler and Stalin being “misguided guys”, I appreciated the experience. He reminded me that you need to know what you believe, because in an everyday way it matters (even when your wandering across rocks).

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