I suppose I kind of owe you a bit of an explanation regarding the name of the "Being Me" category on this here blog???
The cop out would be to tell you that it is complicated - well, that would not actually be a cop out because it is complicated. Just not necessarily in the way you might expect.
You see - the name "Being Me" is a bit of a "Ronseal" name (it does what it says on the tin) with a twist.
If you were to ask me what my all-time favourite non-Kristyna Myles song is I would have to say "Being Me" by Plaeto (you can find it on Amazon). It is the song I listen to the most when I am feeling annoyed with the world.
The lyrics are a bit dark but the part that we are most interested in right now are in the Chorus "Because I'm being me - before the night is over you'll be here but you won't see - no you won't see - what you've got here! You've got me!".
I was reminded of it when I learned that someone I have never met got really upset on my behalf as a result of what honestly felt like a Lynching on Twitter. (Note to self: Never attempt to explain yourself in 140 characters (including spaces) on Twitter when the "mentally hard of hearing" are the ones you are trying to educate. Before you decide I am being offensive to a group of Disabled people - you are correct. However, thinking like everybody else is not exactly classified as a disability by most people (no matter how inflexible and entrenched the thinking is).
I am not going to rehash the argument again on here (I have already had my say on that subject in a previous blog post).
There have been a few good books around recently which I have read. They made me think about things differently.
One book - "Being Mortal" by Atul Gawande - is about how wrong we have got End Of Life care for the elderly and terminally ill. Although organ donation was not mentioned in the book, it has raised a lot of serious, negative, questions in my mind about that subject which seem to have been swept under the carpet in an attempt to get everybody to join the Donor Register.
Another book I want to mention is "Headscarves and Hymens" by Mona Eltahawy. Ms Eltahawy is an Egyptian lady who has written about the Muslim attitudes to women as opposed to their attitudes to men. She managed to gain the trust of Muslim women from a variety of Arab and African countries and interview them about their treatment. Warning - this book is not for the casual reader - it hurts when you read it (or at least it did hurt me).
However, the book I want to ramble on about now is a book which (had I not read the entire "Freakonomic" series) I might well have left on the shelf because the title "Think Like A Freak" actually put me off at first.
Written by an Economist (Steven D Levitt) and a journalist (Stephen J Dubner) the entire "Freakonomics" series may sound like it will be Boring with a capital "B". Trust me - it is the funniest, yet most educational, series of books I have ever read.
What "Freakonomics", "Superfreakonomics", and "When To Rob A Bank (The Freakopedia)", have managed to do (apart from convincing me I am not totally certifiable) is explain difficult concepts in a way which makes them easy for me to understand.
On the other hand "Think Like A Freak" has some valuable advice in it which we could all benefit from.
The first piece of advice is "in order to get the right answers you need to start by asking the right questions". I was reminded of that one when I was watching the news this evening and saw Tony Blair badmouthing (indirectly) Jeremy Corbyn over the Leadership Election for the Labour Party in the UK.
The second one was "Freaks do not think big". If you ask a Freak to solve a problem they will see the big picture but they will concentrate on trying to solve it in small chunks.
That sounds like me - I will concentrate on what I consider to be the most obvious problem first (whilst the rest of the world is too busy arguing about how I am doing it completely wrong).
You don't need to be an Economist or a journalist to learn the benefits of thinking like a "Freak" - you just need to be confident in your own ability to find a different way of doing something.
I suppose the hard part is explaining what you are doing and why. Especially when what you are doing, what you believe, etc, is the exact opposite of what the rest of the world believes is how things should be done.
Take me and steep staircases for example. Just because I went up the steep staircase doesn't mean I necessarily intend to go down it if I can avoid it. I have been known to take a big detour to avoid going down them. I have also been known to hold up a queue of complaining human traffic behind me as I descended a steep staircase at - what they considered to be - snail's pace (there wasn't a lift to the cardeck I wanted to get to).
As I told the lady who had stuck up for me - "I like thinking sideways because it hurts my head too much to think like normal people".
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