I think about this phrase quite a bit lately — not to say that I live in a world of crazy people, but it helps give me perspective.
In general, our society tends to flock toward hero-worshipping, making decisions about another person based on large, broad-based assumptions. And only when we peer through the veneer do we see imperfections hidden below the surface. And then, of all things, we act shocked and surprised at what we discover.
In reality, we need to lighten up on each other. It is the very fact we are all so different that makes life so interesting. People are as unique as their individual fingerprints.
I remember growing up in a world where one man collected hubcaps to the point it filled his house and backyard. Another tried to build a boat in his backyard so large Noah would’ve been proud. I even know fully grown adults who wear uniforms from the 1960s television show “Star Trek.”
But believe it or not, you can pass any of these people at the grocery store or sit beside them on the church pew and never suspect their unique interests. They all put their socks on the inside of their shoes like the rest of us and will cheerfully return a “hello” should you offer.
But in the end, we are all crazy to someone else. Yes, you. Yes, me.
Think about it — someone you closely know versus someone you might only know in an almost passing manner. Odds are, the person you know the best is also the one who is most likely to be a bit on the interesting side of life.
For me, jumping on my skateboard and dropping down into a half-pipe is still one of my favorite things in the world to do. And I wear a suit and tie most days.
To many in society, tattoos still carry a stigma reflective of a time long gone. While years ago tattoos tended to mainly be a badge in time representing a tour of duty in the military or to link one to another, today’s world is filled with those who embrace tattoos for the art of self-expression. Today the art of the tattoo is, in fact, art. I would imagine if you peered beneath the fabric of a few $1,000 custom suits you’d find a world of individuals who choose to privately express themselves with ink. And yes, these very same people are in your carpool line, donating to charity and raising families — just like you.
Let’s learn to resist judging each other for our individuality. People are like a giant pot of gumbo — a mixture of a little of this and that. I mean, who really wants to eat an endless diet of tasteless chicken broth?
Call me crazy, but I like mine with spices and hot sauce on top.
Woolsey is the publisher of the Douglas County Sentinel. You can read more of his columns at leonardwoolsey.com or reach him at email@example.com.