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Odd Ball (on the street)


I was with my grandson the other day, driving in a car, winter time so windows are down and no one will hear what I am saying.  Someone in front of me did something totally against the rules, and potentially dangerous, and I said something aloud about the error of a such a move.  He soon voiced the view that I should not worry about that driver since he was not affecting me. He also suggested that he would never affect me, and that is where his argument, and the argument of the majority of society whom I now recognize, he represents, breaks down.  For that guy will continue his behavior and sure as crap, I will run into him again – in some form.

There are more than just one realization set out herein, with no warranty of sequence or importance as to the discovery, or the reveal.  When one is an odd ball, it is possible that the status is not realized from within.  I am sure of no other’s perspective, hence the possibility label.  It might will be a probability.  That is why many odd balls resist efforts to “convert” them, passively and actively on both the conversion and the resistance.  As kids, they might be teased into conformation, walking in step, forced to play by rules that are not codified in any way and otherwise don’t fit the logic they understand.  (I realize there is the possibility for the “rationalization” label to apply here, but…)  So if you are not an odd ball, and you want anything out of this, you really need to pay attention as this is outside your bailiwick (as if you are looking into a snow globe).

Anyway, there are certain circumstance under which the odd bail can be distinct from, yet operate within the bounds of society, without being aware that he is the odd ball, at least for a while.  If the odd ball is also very smart, or valuable in some way, they can do their thing without being impacted.  (This is true with “bad” odd balls, but I had in mind the good odd balls.  The great scientists, musicians, etc. that are easily recognized as odd, but allowed.)

So, I took the opportunity to advise my grandson that if everyone allowed rule breakers to pass unchallenged in that endeavor, then those types of people would not only continue, but expand the attitude, behavior, to greater and greater margin past the acceptable.  For, I am not so silly as to deny that with every rule there should be a margin applied in the enforcement, but only in the event of circumstances that make the “bend” sensical.  (Yes, rationalization potential again.)

It was not lost on me that, as a 7 year old, he might not get my message, or maybe get only part thereof.  Hell, most in society would resist and not get my message, and I am presuming that they have many years of applied learning capability that might be employed in the effort.  This message may well be only for the sheriffs out there, the Pyrenees Mountain dogs of the pack.  Those are the folks, and they only will recognize the trait, except in characters presented to them mostly in fiction, that can’t keep from stepping forward when they are in the presence of “unrighteous” behavior.  It is not a choice to step forward, as they would have to choose to do otherwise.  (And believe me, there is often times pressure not to do as they would do naturally.)

Currently, there is a focus on bad behavior by men in the relationship world, abuse of spouses and children, courtesy of the fact that the perpetrators have been outed by being in a pro sport. Of course, these guys (and women to) have been apparent to anyone who has been paying attention, and certainly anyone who has spent any time in the workings of a state level district court. (Inversely labeled the supreme court level in NY, go figure. I mean I see how it came to be, but what were they thinking.  If there was ever to be any appeal right from the ruling of the court, then by definition, the next court would be “supreme” in the relationship.  Probably so named by  an administrator. Wow, what an aside.)

Anyway, there is a current push to move everyday kids to the role of the sheriff (Stand Up, Be That Guy), but it will be taught by folks who know the mechanism on paper, but who have no instinct in the act.  I am not sure it can be taught.  Well, you will catch some kids in the logic, but whether they can learn a mechanism for exercising enforcement is a much bigger question.  The best I think society can hope for is that those “taught” the concept will not cower when the sheriff needs a posse behind him.  Most sheriffs have learned, by experience, that compatriots will not necessarily follow the sheriff as he confronts a miscreant.  But if the passive can be taught to at least stand behind the sheriff, then that is a help.  Usually, it takes some bad behavior and a recruitment by the sheriff to find such folks, but when bad behavior pops up, there is no time to recruit and most sheriffs know they are on their own for the most part.

The big question for me, immediately, is whether my grandson will adopt a different perspective by seeing my behavior.  I will likely articulate concepts to him in response to confrontation by him, but I would not insist that he give in to my way of understanding.  I have realized that I am an odd ball in regards to my response to personally experienced bad behavior, even if it is not directed at me.

I was going to close there, but the last line caught a thought.  In my experience, when one confronts a bad behaver, who is exercising leverage against his object (victim), the truth of the position taken by the confronter is of some significant influence.  The bad behaver is suddenly presented with an alternative perspective.  If you can point out to them the righteousness of the perspective, they appear to have an actual loss of strength, which fades parallel to the loss of conviction.  You have to, though, be wary of those that don’t have the level of awareness to get the distinction, because those do exist, either in nature or by drugs.

The foregoing is really just a start.  The whole story is laborious to present in this medium.

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