Thursday, April 15, 2010

On Eccentricity

From Medieval Latin eccentricus, derived from Greek ekkentros "out of the center."


Dr. David Weeks', famed for his scientific studies on eccentricity, gives us this list of 15 qualities, possession of at least 10 of which qualifies one as an eccentric: 
nonconforming; creative; strongly motivated by curiosity; idealistic (wanting to make the world a better place and the people in it happier); 
happily obsessed with one or as many as six hobbyhorses; aware from early childhood of being different; intelligent, opinionated and outspoken; 
convinced that you are right and the rest of the world is wrong; non-competitive (not in need of reassurance or reinforcement from society); 
unusual in eating habits or living arrangements; not particularly interested in the opinions or company of other people except to convert them to your point of view; 
possessing a mischievous sense of humor; single; eldest or only child; a bad speller. 
Where do you stand?  I'm not going to claim that I am intelligent, but hello hobbyhorses!  I have at least as many as six, most of which I could, on any given day, get completely carried away with.  Bad speller, yes, but that is what gets me my rockin' scrabble scores.  I call it creative spelling, Gavin calls it cheating (I always win).  Unusual in eating habits, afraid so.  I've got at least eleven of Dr. Weeks' "qualities," twelve if being the youngest of many counts like being the oldest.  They tend to have similar traits, so I think it should.


So, what does this mean?  Dr. Weeks says eccentric people "have these happy obsessive preoccupations, and a wonderful, unusual sense of humor, and this gives them a significant meaning in life. And they are far healthier than most people because of that."  I'll take that, sounds lovely.  


I have to say, when I got excited at the prospects of being eccentric, my sweet husband gave me a loving reality check.  Family, kids, my LDS faith, this is where I do most of my conforming.  Conform can feel like an icky word, but keeping one foot on the ground allows me to raise socially healthy kids, have friends, and be able to help others on their journey, among other good things.  I won't get carried away, but I might do a little day dreaming.  


my wheatgrass juice/sprouting factory

1 comment:

Lisa Lisa said...

Very will said, Emily...that's why I admire you for so many reasons.