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Updated on December 26, 2012


As everyone knows I am an iconoclastic, introverted only child. I never believed in fitting in even as a child. I had always marched to my own drummer and listened to my inner voice. I was not one to follow the crowd and the general societal consensus.

I was an individualist and a nonconformist through and through. I was never one of those tween girls who were boy crazy and in love with romance and other teen novels. Quite the opposite, I always was interested in history and the more arcane subjects.

The mysterious and the more hidden aspects of life always attracted me. I loved horror movies, even as a young child. i remember seeing the movie Black Sunday by Mario Baba as a tween. That movie profoundly scared and affected me. This movie was one of the best horror movies of all time. This was before the advent of The Exorcist and Bram Stoker's Dracula.

I was never one for small, inane, and mindless chatter. To me, gossip and vapid socializing for the sake of socializing was totally devoid of reason and logic. Those very words would make my blood boil. What is the point of such socializing anyway? I would rather stay home, reading an intensely interesting and complex book in addition to sketching to my heart's desire. .

Even as a young child, I preferred to stay indoors. However, my mother had different ideas. It was her mission to socialize me into a "more outgoing" person. I reluctantly complied, anticipating the day when I could stay home, blissfully pursuing my myriad hobbies.

Lo and behold, as a teenager, I decided to rebel against this stricture of always being out and about. I elected to become a young homebody. I was, of course, elated to high heaven but my poor mother was totally nonplussed at such an idea. She was of the school that teenagers should be galavanting and running around. That was not me at all. I preferred the more solitary life. Give me a book and a sketchpad and I was in utter nirvana.

My mother tried fruitlessly to get me to attend school dances. I even did not attend my high school prom. That was no big deal to me. No, I never regretted it! I felft that this was a total waste of my time and energy. Also, I never dated in high school- I had other things to keep me occupied. I had a few friends and with happy with that!

While my mother was puzzled by my low socializing, my father was elated. He felt that I was settled and quite mature for my age. Personally, I found high school and college socializing to be a waste of my time. I had more constructive things to do with my "off" time.

I was a teenager during the period from the late sixties and early seventies. In my high school, which was a private college preparatory school, I was one of the very few students who never experimented with drugs. The majority of students at the school admitted to experimenting with drugs albeit soft drugs such as marijuana. Many of the students thought I was a bulwark of an earlier time but that did not phase me one bit.

As a college student, I was intensely serious about my studies. No, I did not attend parties and refused to indulge in the typical habits of a young person living in the 1970s. Even though I was a Baby Boomer, oftentimes, I felt closer to older generations than I did to my own generation.

As a result of following my own drummer as a youth, I developed into a highly individualistic person. I was a deep thinker who did not blindly accept conventional or any other type of societal "wisdom". I was never a popular teen. However, I could not have care less. All I was concerned about was earning good grades and succeeding in the work world.

I knew that y following my own drummer in my youth, I developed into a quite individualistic person. I was a deep thinker who did not blindly accept conventional societal wisdom. I was never a popular teen. However, I did not care about that at all. All I cared about was earning good grades and succeeding in the work world.

I knew that being popular meant nothing in the adult and work world. As you all know by now, I was not one to follow any type of crowd but believed in doing what was right for me even if it meant having very few friends in the process. My integrity was more important to me than having false friends.

In my estimation, popularity is vastly overrated. Many people, especially young tweens and teens, subvert their individuality-almost selling their souls to the Devil- in pursuit of that goal. Many young people do things that are either destructive or detrimental in order to popular and well liked.

These young people are oftentimes quite fearful of asserting their individuality because they believe that they will be ostracized and/or stigmatized for doing so. They are also afraid of being excluded from their respective peer group. The worst thing in these young people's mind is to be alone and friendless.

Why be afraid to be an individual and go against the societal grain? It is far better to assert your opinions and individuality than to facetiously join a crowd, doing things that one thinks is wrong and does not believe in. Many tweens and teens have totally destroyed their lives in the pursuit of being popular.

This is extremely sad to say the least. Never strive to be popular, just be yourself. If no likes it, let them be damned. To paraphrase a passage from John Milton's Paradise Lost, it is better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven.

One of my pet peeves is blind and slavish conformity. Such conformity is totally asinine and utterly overrated. Let us not have the herd and sheeple mentality. Be as nonconformist and original as you can. Of course, it is the path of the least resistance to fit in. However, this is a hellish path. You end up losing your sense of self and your soul.

History is full of people who committed heinous Another one of my pet peeves is trying to fit in and/or follow the crowd. Fitting in is totally asinine and utterly overrated. Let us not have the herd mentality. Be as individualistic as you can. You will respect yourself in the morning.

Sure it is the path of the least resistance to fit in. However, this is a hellish path. You end up losing your sense of self and your soul. History is full of people who committed heinous and unspeakable acts because they wanted to be like everyone else. I remember in elementary school, I refused to follow the crowd regarding coming to some type of consensus regarding a discussion about the importance of being well liked. I was smart and not about to dumb down for anyone. I stood my ground, vehemently disagreeing with such a premise. One of my classmates indicated why I was the oddball and not like everyone else. Well, I lost a few of my associates because of this; however, I did not care in the least.

In the eighth grade, a popular classmate who was at the bottom of the class informed me that I had no personality whatsoever. I replied that this did not matter and that being intelligent was more important than being popular and being a people pleaser. Guess who won? I did. She ended up attending a vocational high school while I attended a college prepatory school and later college. .

In the eighth grade, I remember one popular classmate(who was at the bottom of the class while I was at third highest) indicated that I had NO personality. I replied that this did not matter and that being smart was more important than being popular and fitting in. Guess who won? I did. She ended up attending a vocational high school while I attended a college prepatory school and later college. To reiterate, the concepts of popularity and blind conformity are totally pointess inanities. I become totally incensed and discombobulated when I hear parents stating that the most important thing for their children is to be popular and to fit in. Please, please stop this now!

Being an introvert is such a contentious issue in this extroverted leaning society. Introversion is not a disease to be fixed. Leave us introverts alone. Just because we wish to be quiet and reflective does not mean that we are lacking. Be a gregarious extrovert is not the only lifestyle.

It is not always the lion who is noticed. Sometimes it is the lamb who takes the rug away from the lion. Some of our most outstanding and capable leaders, actors, inventors, and professionals are introverts. We introverts have a lot to offer. There is a saying that ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS- listen to this!

Nothing dismays me more than parents who denigrate their introverted children, wishing that they would be more boisterous and extroverted. Cherish and respect your introverted child. Such children have gifts that oftentimes a more extrovert child does not have. Leave him/her alone.

When I was working at a social service agency, one coworker always compared her introverted teenage daughter to an extremely extroverted counterpart who attended the same high school. Everyday this woman would constantly belittle her daughter for her introversion. She was of the thought that introverts were retarded, backwards, and totally unintelligent. She expressed this on a continuous basis.

Of course, her daughter retaliated against such a tirade, gloating that this extremely extroverted student was involved in a scandal when she posed naked with another woman. The daughter further asserted that the latter, who was a beauty queen at time, was disgraced and considered a total pariah/slut while she was not! The same woman reported that even the parents of the extremely extroverted girl, particularly the mother, were ashamed of and disgusted with her. This woman should have been thankful for her introverted daughter- at least she was not a problematic child. The average introverted child is not problematic and they march to their own drummers.

The issue of teen dating and sex is quite a contentious issue. My personal opinion is that no one has any business dating at the high school and college levels. Yes, you heard me correctly. High school and college should be periods which one should concentrate on obtaining an education and to prepare himself/herself for a future career. There is enough time for dating and other forms of relationships once one have finished his/her education. I feel that one's 20s are to explore dating and sexual options. Yes, one should have sex when he/she is an adult-straight to the bone and no chaser. Hopefully by that time, one is mature and knowledgeable enough to know about contraception and his/her body mechanisms.

While I am on the subject, I adamantly believe that no one should get married until he/she is in her mid-30s. When a person reaches his/her mid-30s, he/she should have obtained all the necessary education, life experiences, and have a substantial career. Being established in a career in addition to being financially prepared makes for a less stressful marriage. By the mid-30s, a person (hopefully) is mature enough to have a committed marital and parental relationship.

Pertaining to the subject of "interracial" dating and marriage, I believe that there is no such thing as "interracial" dating and marriage. This is the 21st century. There is only one race-THE HUMAN RACE. I franily do not care who dates and marries whoNow, there is the subject of "interracial" dating and marriage. To me, there is no such thing as "interracial" dating and marriage. This is the 21st century folks. There is only one race, the human race. I frankly do not care who a person dates and marries- as long as the person is educated, enlightened, accomplished, and decent. Let us not make an issue out of something that is so inconsequential and insignificant. We are all ONE PEOPLE under the Universal God.

Let us address and discuss the issue of school bullying. School bullying should not be taken lightly and dismissed as child's play. Bullying is an insidious issue in our schools. Teachers and administrators oftentimes feel sorry for "these poor cihldren". Guess what? Bullying is a crime and bullies should be treated as criminals. You say that they are only children.

Yes, they are children but many of them do not have empathetic personalities. Many of these children know exactly what they are doing. Many innocent children are irreparably damaged, some even commit suicide, because of incessant bullying. Here is a simple solution to the problem at hand.

First of all, establish a paper trial on these miscreants. Have a three strikes and you are expelled policy. This paper trail is a permanent record which will follow the bully throughout his/her school career and/or life. When the bully is expelled from school, place him/her in a 600 school i.e. a school for bullies and other delinquents.

Bullies who do not reform are oftentimes placed into juvenile facilities and if they are older, into the prison system. In such systems, bullies are often in for a quite rude awakening as there are people in such systems who are badder than they are and/or will ever be. Many times, bullies learn a harsh but valuable lesson in such institutions if they have not learn it beforehand. They often get a taste of their own medicine when incarcerated in either a juvenile facility or jail.

To those who were born into less than positive or idea circumstances, do not let such circumstances deter you from optimizing and utilization of your God-given human potential. You must consider and visualize the positiveness and possibilities in life and minimize its negative aspects. Many successful people come from less than positive life circumstances. They view these circumstances as impetuses to succeed and to progress forward in their lives.

Such people have the "can do" spirit. They refuse to use their negative circumstances as an excuse not to pursue their respective goals and succeed in life. They are of the opinion that excuses are for crybabies, whiners, and wimps. These are the people who MAN and/or WOMAN up and face life's challenges and overcome them. They are so busy, doing and accomplishing that they do not have time for the pettiness that often consume lesser souls. They are truly the proactive doers and innovators and can make lemonade out of lemons.

In summation, one has to often look beyond societal, personal, familial and emotional conventions and blockages to create and live a full life. There are people who are followers and those who are the creators of their own lives and destiny. One has to look beyond the pale, assess and correct when necessary. Life is so short and those who are the most authentic and creative oftentimes live the best life possible. Now, those are my societal observations. I have not finished yet. I have yet to add more of my musings in the future.

© 2011 Grace Marguerite Williams


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