Some Are Forced, Some Seek It Out…

Some people are forced to the margins, some seek them out, but for most it is likely a little of both.

Being marginalized against your will is most often a bad thing. But sometimes good things can come from being forced there. Things that result in positive action. A case in point is the Republican Party’s attempts to keep people of color from voting. That forced marginalization actually resulted in Virginia turning from red to a solid color of blue in the last national election. There are simply so many examples of forced marginalization, it’s hard to pick just one for example for this and future posts. But, the idea of this blog is to treat each one as an event that personally affects many others.

I have been forced to the margins by:

  • Having Aspie Traits – Even as a young kid I realized that I was different from those around me. That fact caused me to have low self-esteem for too much of my life. I was, and still am very clumsy as social interactions. Even at 70+ years I have yet to figure out stuff that is natural to most. Things like when it is my turn to talk during a conversation, when to not verbalize my thoughts, and when to be quiet.
  • Being Deaf – being deaf pushed me to the very edges of society. Even my clumsy social interactions proved almost impossible because of the isolation of deafness.
  • Thinking for myself and Questioning Everything – I don’t know why but most everything I read or figuratively hear automatically brings us a bunch of questions. I have never taken anything at face value without some serious considerations. To be in the herd/mainstream/pack you have to not think too much. You need to go along with what you are told. That has proven almost an impossible thing for me. I have been pushed to the margins by that fact.

Closing this post out, I have spent the majority of my life on the margins. That sounds like a bad thing but for me, the margins have become a comfortable place to reside. When you are no longer smothered by the herd in the middle of the road you gain a broader perspective on life. You can understand and empathize with those who are forced to the margins against their will. You understand the true meaning of the Sermon on the Mount. You fully understand about being your brother’s keeper. You understand how to REALLY live a Christian life.

Being on the margins makes me a more humble person than most around me.

I pray that my words here on LOM are comforting to those who have not yet come to see that the margins are indeed a good place to be.

Deaf People Cling To The Margins

Sometimes I cling to the margins with my fingernails, and sometimes I stomp on them with both feet. I haven’t been in the mainstream for so long I don’t even realize what it is anymore.

I have been deaf for going on thirty-five years now and believe me that requires some serious margin clinging. It just amazes me how the mainstream has no idea of what being deaf means. I try to teach them but often that becomes just too tiring.

Everyone assumes that all deaf people know sign language

The ADA act which became law in 1990 mandates signing for all public announcement and have yet to change that archaic means of communicating especially since from the beginning 98% of hearing impaired people don’t understand it. But, I guess that is government for you, isn’t it?

Everyone assumes that all deaf people can read lips

In reality only about 20% of the English language appears on the lips so even those who are good at reading lips have to guess 80% of the time.

When I tell people I am deaf they assume all they have to do is speak a little louder

I don’t understand this one. I tell them “you can scream at the top of your lungs, and it won’t make any difference!” I give them tools to communicate with me, but it is seldom accepted. They just speak louder.

One of my biggest fears in life is that a policeman will kill me

In most of the rest of the first class nations it takes a year or more of academy training before candidates are allowed to handle weapons. In the US they are given a lethal side-arm after 13 to 19 weeks of instruction. That is certainly not enough time to learn much about the people they are going to serve let alone knowing when to shoot and when keep it in the holster. I’m just afraid that I am going to be stopped for a simple traffic violation and when I don’t hear the officer tell me to come out of my vehicle (or any other command) he may feel threatened by my lack of non-compliance. You get the idea so no use going further.

Every person in the world now uses text messages and email

That is except for all the businesses I need to contact. Those seem to all be limited to only voice calls and Faxes (I know what are faxes??? 🧐). I send email to them telling them that I am deaf, and they need to use texts to communicate with them. The first thing that happens after that it that they call me again!

Deaf people just to survive in this world cling to the margins daily.

Being on the Margins Makes Isolation More Tolerable

One of the biggest complaints I hear about the pandemic is the isolation that many people feel because they are off by themselves. When you live on the margins having more time alone is most often just a fact of life, especially for those of us who have significant Aspie traits or are deaf and for me, that is both.

Over the years I have come to enjoy my alone time more and more. I simply don’t depend on others to make my days enjoyable anymore, if I really ever did. I have spent my whole life trying to figure out what people expect from me. I have never answered that question to my satisfaction. When I finally realized that unanswered question is most likely due to my Aspie traits things became more settled. I am not a good communicator when it comes to one-on-one type things, so I have no really close friends to share my life with.

In groups, I struggle with trying to figure out when it was my time to say something. When I became deaf thirty-some years ago that problem was magnified by a factor of ten. It seems that almost no one has the patience to try to include me in casual conversations. I have come to understand that and don’t really have any ill feeling about it anymore. That is just the way it is when you are deaf and living in a hearing world. I live on the margins…

Ok, let’s finally spin this post around to the title. 🥴 Because of these type problems with group and one-on-one conversations I have learned to enjoy my own company more and more as the years have gone by. I gave a presentation to a national organization a few decades ago declaring that one of the things I miss the most because of being deaf is chit-chat. That is, the daily off-the-cuff stuff that we share with others throughout the day. That is still true for me but not to the magnitude it once was.

Maybe it is by necessity, but it is now easy for me to spend the whole day totally by myself. In fact, I have come to depend on that when I am writing about ten posts a week on my blogs. My blogs give me a purpose that is still manageable with my current life circumstances.

In some serendipitous way, I think my somewhat forced isolation has allowed me to fulfill one of my primary passions in life. I have always enjoyed writing and telling stories. I just chose the wrong occupation to do much of that, but now that I have been retired for more than twenty years I have finally found what I really enjoy doing, and that is blogging in five-hundred words or less. That never would have happened if I were not living on the margins…

About This Blog

This blog is primarily about a celebration of life Outside The Mainstream.

It is about:

  • Living life on your own terms, and dealing with adversities along the way
  • Choosing your own path instead of following the herd
  • Lessons you might learn from personal stories of success and failures.
  • Thinking for yourself and finding your path
  • Being Unique, Exceptional, Extraordinary, and yes even Eccentric
  • Celebrating creativity in all its forms

It’s about living your life on your terms, not what someone else has decided for you. It is about dealing with your adversities and even making them a positive part of a fulfilling life.

Most people seem to think that the comfortable place to be is in the mainstream. I intend for this blog to show you that while it might be the more comfortable it is not nearly as satisfying and rewarding as living life with drive and direction rather than apathy.

The margins are where life happens. Sometimes the margins are forced upon us and sometimes they are chosen as our life path, either way can make life more fulfilling and interesting. Stick around and I will convince you of that fact. 😎

Living On The Margins

I am still very much in the process of setting up a strategy around my new theme here on RJsView. For now, I have decided to call it “Life on the margins”. I know at one time or another all of us have been on the margins. But, visiting the margins once in a while is not the same thing as living on them day-to-day. Looking back on my life I can see that I have been living on the margins for most of it.

Whether you admit it or not, almost everyone lives at least part of their life on the margins. Those are the places where where you just don’t fit in with the crowd, either by choice or circumstance. Some try very hard to stay in the mainstream; some do everything to make their own paths.
I seem to constantly live on the margins, so I thought why not celebrate that fact and show others why living life on the margins can be joyful and fulfilling, or at least not boring.😎 Looking back on my life I have come to realize that I have lived most of it on the margins. There just doesn’t seem to be anything mainstream about me.
Here are some examples:

  • I am deaf and have been so for more than thirty years now. That category alone puts me on about 1% of the population. Since I went deaf at the age of 40, I have never really felt that I belong in either the hearing world or the deaf world. That puts me on the margins.
  • I have some Strong Aspie Traitsand have had them all my life but didn’t know they had a name or that others share many of the same traits. It is estimated that 1 in 500 have significant Aspie traits. That is about 0.5% of the population. That puts me on the margins.
  • I have an IQ of 136 and that puts me in the top 1% of the population. I guess that makes me unique, but I don’t really feel that way. I feel it just puts me on the margins.
  • I question Everything and always think for myself. I look at almost everything in life with a contrarian/ anti-mainstream view. I simply don’t go along with the trends until they are demonstrated to improve my life or the lives of others. I don’t know where that puts me on life’s scale, but it is way better than any of the alternatives today, especially those who follow defective heroes simply because everyone else does.
  • I got kicked out of a Lutheran Evangelical church because I didn’t believe the “right” things, or maybe more truthfully spoke up about my disbelief. In the 10 years since that day I have moved even further toward the margins in my spiritual life and have found that is a very enlightening place the be. I found I share my beliefs in this area with Tolstoy and Jefferson, that’s kind of a neat crowd to be with.

Here onRJsView – life on the margins I want to celebrate living outside the mainstream, and show you that it can lead to a joyous and fulfilling life. We don’t need to follow the crowd and do what everyone else does. There is nothing wrong with discovering our unique path through life. Thinking outside the mainstream is in fact a downright satisfying way to live your life.

I’m still not totally sold on that new caption “Life on the Margins”, If you want to give me any suggestions they are welcome.