June 20, 2020•213 words
We label people who go against the grain as 'wrongdoers' when we're young. If a kid in our science class has blue hair and reads strange books, she doesn't fit in. She's not like us.
As we mature, we begin to realize that these 'wrongdoers' are the most interesting people we know, and that walking outside the lines of what's 'typical' can make someone especially admirable. We now understand the blue-haired girl who reads strange books is special because she's not like us.
As we get old, many of us will revert back. Unable to keep up with change, we'll once again be confused or made uncomfortable by those with blue hair, strange jobs, or obscure interests. We've been around for a long time and seen a lot of things, so if we can't make sense of something, it must not make sense to anyone.
We confused acts of nonconformity as mistakes, in our youth.
We learned to appreciate 'personal weirdness' as a feature, as we entered adulthood.
We'll need to fight the urge to exchange our curiosity for security, in the form of a fixed belief system, once we become old.
You might be dangerously close to being 'old' already if you neglect your curiosity. I know old people in their twenties.