Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Eccentrics

Takes from the book "On Desire" by Willian B. Irvine.

"For most people, life requires an ongoing series of compromises between what they want for themselves and what other people want and expect of them. Most people thus come to relinquish much of their sovereignty over themselves. They relinquish it to relatives, to neighbors, and even to complete strangers, and they do so because they value highly the admiration of other people and fear their contempt and ridicule."

"Eccentrics, on the other hand, refuse to relinquish sovereignty over themselves. They refuse to live for other people. They have their own vision of what is valuable in life and which lifestyles are worth living. If their vision is at odds with the common view, so much the worse for the common view."

"They might see no point at all in trying to impress people with a new car or big house. To the contrary, they might argue that anyone who is impressed by such things is simply not worth impressing."

"Sometimes people deal with an eccentric by trying to get him to mend his ways and be more like they are. A true eccentric will ignore their advice and in doing so will doubly affront them. In ignoring their advice, the eccentric is demonstrating that he doesn't care what they think. (Telling someone you don't care what he thinks is one of the strongest insults possible.) Furthermore, in ignoring their advice, in not succumbing to social pressure, the eccentric is implying that he is somehow outside - or even worse, above - the "rules" of the society in which he lives."