We’re ALL in tribes or groups. Family. Extended Families. Work colleague. Sporting tribes and so forth. The tribes are small to the very big.
In One of the many “tribes” I am a member in, we all get a question that relates to aspects of life. Members of this little tribe are of all ages and come from different backgrounds and socio-economic & cultural backdrops.
In one question, we were comparing the different paths people take to success. Based on a Ted-talk by the David Epstein, our Modern societies place a lot of emphasis and pump up the “stay focused “ on one thing and specialise your way to success (like Tiger Woods did). David called this the “Kind Learning Environment”. In this environment, the rules are clear and never change; largely based on knowledge of recurring patterns;
The other way – which he called “wicked learning environment “ was “sampling “ or “trying many things before settling on one”. In this environment, the rules may change; it may be delayed, it may be inaccurate. This is the route the great Roger Federer took – trying out a huge variety of sports before settling on Tennis.
The former (Tiger Woods ) chose and specialised from before he was 2 years old and built up his > 10,000 hours before he was in his teens. The latter has fun with many sports and specialised latter.
Society tends to trump up the former method because it makes for good storytelling. Why? Well, for many reasons , chief among them is “making a decision early “ shows decisiveness and a competitive advantage is far better. Yes, that is true for many things in life.
Taking the 2nd route like Rodger Federer seems like “wandering “ and indecisiveness and that is frowned upon by society.
Is it? Really?!
As David Epstein postulates, the wicked learning environment is more like the world we are living in than the former, isn’t it? We are living in an increasingly uncertain world, where the rules and ‘way of life’ can change very suddenly. Have a look at what happened in 2020. We are living in an increasingly uncertain world and we need to re-learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable and adapt quickly to survive.
Being a Wanderer, DOES NOT mean you’re LOST.
So, one of the members in this little tribe said that he has been called a “wanderer” for a big chunk of his early life. Confirming what I have said about the way society in this point-in-time “deemed acceptable “. There was a great list of “sampling” he wanted to experience in the future.
This was my feedback to him:
“Great “Sampling List”, let Love & your heart lead the way… towards a re-education of the heart.
Being a “weirdo” and referred to as a “wanderer” is a blessing in disguise.
Many great thinkers were wanderers – pick a few names from the Bible – Jesus Christ, Moses… then you have Buddha, and Rumi .
Being a wanderer DOES NOT mean you’re lost.
To me, It just means that you have unanswered questions. It’s good to be asking questions- whether the “small” (what tasks to run today for example) … then the high level questions (which generally involve greater consequences – like what work suits me or who am I going to marry as examples).
But to me, the important questions are the “large “ questions, like – How can I derive “meaning “ from my life, for example.
However, most people would rather keep themselves “busy “ Or focused on a project(s).
in my experience, our lives and our happiness are inextricably entwined with the Large questions of meaning.
Some Questions are UNANSWERABLE.
If your “wanderer” hat takes you on this journey seeking answers to the more IMPORTANT QUESTIONS, know this:
That’s ok. For some things in life, what’s important is not that you find the ‘answer’ but … that you asked the question. The RIGHT question.
I’ve always told my family, that for some things, there are no answers – “that’s just the way it is”. I’ve even invented a word that is all encompassing: “KAKA!”
It comes in to use when I am tired of answering my two kids endless questions. when I say “Kaka!” … it means – I am not obligated to explain or give a reason … it is “just the way it is”.
END OF CONVERSATION!
They DO NOT like the word and I use sparingly.
Oops … I may have digressed there a bit …
Someone is TRULY “LOST” when …
So, wandering is a good strength and is a courageous thing to do. you “open” yourself up, you allow yourself to be vulnerable.
BEING a wanderer does not mean you are necessarily, Lost.
To me, a person is LOST when they are too obtuse, filled with fear or distracted or “busying “ their lives just to avoid asking the IMPORTANT Questions… that is when someone is truly, Lost.
That, my friend, are the seemingly “ UN-Weird “people of this world.That also happens to be the majority of the population.
But… in many times in life, the “majority “ doesn’t always mean you’re in “the right “. It just means that is the prevailing view of the majority of a group /community/societies …. at that time period.
Does it mean that it was “right?”
For example, the punishment for stealing a loaf of bread 🥖to feed your family two hundred years ago was to be classed in the same mold as murderers. You were all simply bunched together and shipped off to an “island” on the other side of the world 🌎… never to ever return.
That faraway “Island” was modern day’s Australia. And those “convicts” were modern-day Australian’s forefathers. Now, did the “punishment fit the crime?” At that time, yes… the majority felt so … the society felt it was so.
Is that punishment appropriate in today’s societies?
There is no “one-size-fits-all”.
So, enjoy your “weirdness” and accept that there is no ANSWER (s) that would be applicable to ALL… there is no “one-size-fits-all” category.
To me: I firmly believe it is spirituality that serves as the foundation for our existence. Besides, many years ago, I didn’t really catch the ‘message’ the Priest of my Catholic Church was during the church service. On my way out, I asked the “Father” what his message was and he said –
“Son, the world needs more ‘weirdos’ … more ‘stirrers’ … more ‘questioners’ and people who ‘rock the boat’. I agree. It is the wanderers .. the questioners .. the rebels .., the ‘shit-stirrers’ that will help change the world and help create environments that encourage better creativity and innovative thinking.
We don’t just need to work on ‘improving what is already there/here” … we need dreamers .. more ‘weirdos’ … more wanderers … to help not just IMAGINE. We need to Imagine BETTER. We can’t arrive at better solutions by doing the same thing that got us here.
May God continue to shower his blessings on you and guide you in your decisions.
All the very best in your search (and don’t forget to take a torch with you, to help you see in the darkness… as you sail through the Seas of Life … he he he !!)
Cheers & ahoy!
From another “weirdo” … from the Land from Down-under!