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Benefits of Being an Outcast
What or Who is an Outcast?
An outcast is someone who doesn't seem to quite "fit in" with the rest of the world. Outcasts normally have their own ideas about how to do things and how to live their lives. They don't follow "normal" conventions, so they might not engage in the same activities as other children, formulate the expected social relationships or end up establishing the expected career pathways. They go by the "beat of their own drum" and often make decisions that go against established social pressures, and their behaviors are often without regards to the feelings and wishes of others in their lives. Outcasts are only outcasts because society deems them so through the establishment of expected behaviors and roles that not everyone can mold themselves into occupying and maintain for a lifetime.
Growing up, outcasts can have many miserable experiences such as getting teased in school, being shunned from daily activities, and generally experiencing brutal harassment on a daily basis including bullying and becoming a victim of targeted violence. Being different can certainly be a struggle. By not following society's expectations, a person may feel all alone in the world. Often people are forced to conform to society just to escape the hardships and brutality that comes from being labeled as "different". Many of those harassed individuals have turned on themselves ~ engaging in drug abuse, self-harm and even suicide. Life doesn't have to be a cycle of hate, if we accept and allow difference.
The Good Things About Being Different
Outcasts are needed in the world. There is much to celebrate about being different. Outcasts:
- make the best friends because they tend to accept individual uniqueness and allow their friends to be themselves. They are true to themselves, less susceptible to peer pressure and will be with you through your hard times without abandoning you just because it might be popular or expected.
- run the world because they are the ones unafraid to pave new ground. They are the ones who will make new discoveries, find pioneering breakthroughs in medicine, science and technology and produce the most creative art.
- provide an environment in which new ideas can foster and pave the way for greater acceptance of difference in our society. They will be the ones to create a movement towards tolerance of religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs and gender boundaries.
Let's celebrate the beauty of being different and unique and thank the outcasts for helping to allow us all to be more of ourselves.