“Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.” John le Carre
And what places aren’t lonely unless we spend all of our efforts following the crowd? Perhaps the manic conformists are on to something after all, a shallow but nearly certain sanity.
I watch teens in awe as most find black to be their favorite color for clothing and hair and drag their pants after them as they slouch down the streets of their suburban and rural neighborhoods. The lonely outcasts, geeks and nerds wait out the loneliness while, unknowing, they may be finding their way to rich lives apart from the crowd. In my time in was poodle skirts and Gant shirts; we have gone from preppy to ghetto in a couple of generations. Strangely the pendulum of conformity swings while the misfits remain pretty much the same. They sit on the sidelines watching the parade, may even participate a bit, without knowing quite what to make of it. Eventually they will come to their own lives and understand that their loneliness may have saved them this nearly universal fate;
“We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.” Arthur Schopenhauer
And for those of us who take the road less traveled, we can join with this sentiment from Ann Rand;
“I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being. I am the warrant and the sanction.” Ayn Rand