Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Two Kinds

For any who know an obsessive, it will come to no surprise that we love to categorize things.  For me, I process reality by placing things in groups.  It's satisfying, even comforting.  It's as natural as breathing.  People are fertile ground for categorization.  There are limitless possibilities.  My thoughts this morning took me to a very simple taxonomy for people who claim to value us "special folk".  There are two kinds.

Those of us who are different seem to attract people for a number of reasons.  In today's politically correct world, saying that you have "a special friend" is a form of currency, a badge of honor if you will.  We lend credibility to a person's open mind and heart, even to their intellect.  Others find our differences endearing or interesting.  Our cognitive differences are entertaining, sometimes impressive.  The wisdom gained from living life as "an alien among you" appeals to many.  We add variety to their world. 

The unfortunate truth in this scenario is that this first group of people value us for what we bring to them.  This never ends well for the "special person".  Eventually the bill comes due so to speak.  These people begin to see the full picture and recoil.  Our physical limitations are inconvenient.  Our mental and developmental issues fare far worse.  While our interests are endearing, our obsessions become tiresome.  We don't always fit into social situations.  Eventually, we stand out.  We draw attention.  For those who value our attributes only, we become embarrassing.  Our depression is down right annoying at times.  Having nothing further to gain, the "normal person" quietly slips away.  Those who aren't completely soulless try to deal with their guilt.  The soulless have none.  The "special person" understands exactly what's transpired, or someday will.  For most "it ain't their first rodeo". 

Fortunately, for some of us, there is a second, much smaller group.  These folk see our value as people.  We're people, not merely an entertaining diversion to these "golden few".  Their view of us is balanced.  Because our value to them isn't based on what our better idiosyncrasies do for them, the darker side of being us becomes "part of the package".  To these dear people, considering us inconvenient, or embarrassing is unthinkable.  As time passes, they bask in the blessings that some of our differences yield, and become increasingly blind to the very things that sent others running for the hills.  Like a child at Christmas, they don't judge the gift by how well it's wrapped.  In like fashion to the Venus di Milo, our beauty and value are not diminished by "our damage". 

We are prospectors panning for gold.  We wade through hoards of Category 1 always hoping to find the treasure that is a single Category 2 person.


  1. Brian, our occasional lunches and frequent online exchanges have made me appreciate you and regard you so highly. I don't always know how to respond to some things you say - and I think you enjoy that a little too much. lol God bless you and your family!

  2. Not just a little bro. I enjoy it WAY too much!!