Friday, April 10, 2015
Are YOU Into It?
Boy Scouting was one of many things that other people--both family members and friends--tried to get me into that just never captivated my interest. When I was only about six or seven years old, my mom signed me up for roller skating lessons after a psychologist suggested that "non-competitive sports" would be good for me...but I didn't enjoy the class at all. She then signed me up for swimming lessons, which I liked even less. Also included in that category is everything from AVID--that is, Advancement via Individual Determination--to owning a dog; I think, by now, you all know the story of the latter: when my mom brought home a canine companion intended specifically for me, I was positively livid.
One of the hardest things to do when dealing with young children or those who are severely mentally impaired is making them understand tough concepts. When my niece was born just over a decade ago, my sister and brother-in-law had two dogs and three cats...but, by the time my niece turned three, both of the dogs and at least one of the cats had to be euthanized because of various health concerns. My niece, however, couldn't stop talking about the deceased pets, and seemed to think they were coming back someday. Their continued explanations that they just were gone forever didn't take; as my brother-in-law said, "We've tried to explain it to her so many times, and it just goes right over her head!" Losing a loved one--including a pet--is tough for anyone to accept; my niece, however, just couldn't do that at all. In another case, a family friend who had a mentally retarded son who was well into his twenties at the time was dealing with a very caustic situation. Long story short, some random girl told him that she was having his child, even though he had never seen her before in his life. Most people his age would realize the ridiculousness of such a claim...but, he believed it, because he was so far behind mentally that he didn't understand the concept of human reproduction. His parents tried to tell him time and time again that said young woman couldn't be having his baby...but, he just had trouble comprehending it. The whole situation seriously stressed his entire family.
I'm not a little kid anymore, and I'm perfectly capable of understanding adult concepts...but, sometimes, people have trouble getting me interested in things outside my area of interest, and have to use such tactics. Sometimes, no matter what people say, it just doesn't work; I'm just not going to get excited about some things, especially if they relate to sports. People have gotten mad at times because of my lack of interest; my brother-in-law was once really upset because I was all excited about an upcoming youth retreat...but couldn't have cared less about any Boy Scout camping trips. To be honest, I can understand his feelings to a degree--he had worked hard up to that point to keep me in Scouting--but, still, he knew that I really didn't want to be in the program at all, so it shouldn't have surprised him.
In conclusion: I realize that my tastes in pretty much everything make me unique...but that's just how I like it. People who tell me to do the "normal" thing instead are seriously misguided; they don't truly know me, and, whether they admit it or not, they don't want me to be me. My interests--in all areas, not just television--are a big part of who I am. I remember a quotation in my sophomore yearbook from a guy who said that "growing up with rap music" was a very big influence on him, and made him who he was at that time. You all know I never bother with mainstream hip-hop tunes, but, I kind of feel the same way: I am who I am today because of not only television, but movies, books, video/computer games, technology, garage saling...and all of the other things that I grew up with, most of which I still hold in high regard to this day. It gives me a different perspective than most, but, if you're my friend, you shouldn't have a problem with that.