Remember the last time you felt like a square peg in a round hole? When you just couldn’t relate to the people around you? When your ambitions and dreams seemed too far-fetched for the world to fathom?
If ‘every damned day’ is your only answer to these questions, you, my friend, are a misfit.
And no, you aren’t alone. And no, it isn’t a sin to be one. Quite the opposite, to be very honest! Being a misfit is probably the best thing in the world.
Surprised? Allow me to explain.
Consider Albert Einstein. Yes, he was a genius. Yes, he was weird. And he wasn’t really that popular for his temperament. He surely did not fit in the world – at least not the way the world wanted him to. But, there was one thing that made him stand out, and the one thing we remember him by. Passion. The burning desire to find the answers to his questions. The need to understand the world and why it is the way it is. He was one of a kind, and being one of a kind has one definite consequence – you aren’t easily accepted.
Consider the poets and the wordsmiths. It takes imagination to find connections that embody the essence of a poem or a story. And, it usually takes a lot of time, patience and solitude to translate thoughts into words. You can be one with the world on the outside, but there’s another world inside that needs your care and attention. These are the people who observe quietly, who easily slip into another realm even in the middle of a noisy party. These are the dreamers, the creators, the artists, the ones who can’t make their peace with the way the world is. They must express themselves, even at the risk of being isolated. They too, are misfits.
There are those who are simply quiet. The introverts, as we call them. They may or may not have a talent. They may be ordinary people, the ones who simply go about life like a task that needs to be completed. It might appear that they are in tune with the world’s ways – but, their inner world often gives them a place to hide their true selves. All they want is to find a quiet nook to be themselves, to read a book, to listen to a song, or to just be. These are the ones who find a connection with nature – the sea, the hills, the forests, the rivers. These are the ones who’ll pluck flowers from the roadside, the ones who’ll find that the sky changes colour throughout the day, and the ones who cry when a particular song plays on the radio. They dream of a quieter life, away from the hullabaloo. They are misfits, in a world the demands exhibitionism.
And while we are talking about not fitting in the puzzle, let us not forget the insane, the lunatics, the compulsive sinners, the ones without a conscience. How do they construe their environment? Does time mean the same thing to them? They don’t conform to the rules that society makes, to make men out of savages, the animals that we are by nature. There exists a veil of sanity and civility that protects our instincts from going haywire. These are the natural misfits, the ones who don’t find sense in maintaining a polished exterior, when our true nature is wild and without limits. They are dangerous to us, but aren’t they, essentially, just people who don’t belong to our definition of the world and the way it should be?
You may have realised, my friend, that we are all misfits, in one way or the other. And, believe it or not, the evolution of life depends entirely on misfits – for change is the catalyst to progress. Unless somebody challenges the status quo, we will be stuck in a rut, and eventually, face extinction. Because nothing in the world is constant. If you recognise yourself as a misfit, stop moping about it. Celebrate your differences, and work on them to make a difference.
The world is just one misfit away from transforming into a better one.
Rashmi Ankit Mehta