It’s Okay to Be Different & Weird: But You Better Be Strong Too
There is a classic action movie called “The Accountant”, starring Ben Affleck, a story about an autistic but brilliant boy who is raised by his special forces father. Brutally trained, there is a scene when he is bullied in the new school in France. His father lectures him.
“Life is a series of choices, none of which are new. The oldest is choosing to be a victim. Or not to.
You’re different. Sooner or later “different” scares people. Victim or not, make a decision.”
It’s a pretty interesting comment. Humans are wired social creatures. Naturally oriented to protect our blood, our tribe or our race. When we meet someone different than us, we naturally distrust them or fear them. More so if you come from a homogenous society. But even in racially & culturally diverse countries like Canada, the UK and the USA among other countries this still happens. You would think being around people different than you makes you understand them better and be more tolerant. It certainly does for some people. But based on all the race-related violence that still exists in society these days it’s not a foregone conclusion.
I’ve come to the view that If you are going to be different Ie. Think or act differently, you better build a tough skin as you will be criticized, shunned , even attacked verbally or physically. As the “model minority” in my guess, you are told to just take and accept it as is.
The problem though is that if you don’t stand up for yourself, they will just keep pushing you. If you don’t fight back against bullies, you get bullied more. This is the case as an individual, an organization and a country.
This is the same with cancel culture. You don’t apologize. If you do, they just dog pile on you more. The more different, read “weird” you are, the more important it is that you have an ability to defend yourself. To be able to fight back. Actually you just need to be able to fight, period. “The best defense is a good offense.”
We’re entering a multipolar, chaotic world where the strong will try to push around the weak. We see this with China and Taiwan. We saw this in the barbaric Russian invasion of Ukraine. Because Ukrainians fought back like lions, I don’t think anyone will try to push them around in the future. But I also think it happened because Putin rightfully saw the liberal West as weak, without resolve & declining. That war would not have happened if the West was seen as strong & willing to fight.
A smart country will try to get stronger. In fact, I expect an arms race and a growing defense industry everywhere as countries begin to arm themselves to make sure they can become spikey porcupines to protect themselves from bigger neighbors.
This is why at the individual level, you need to build strength & health. You need to develop fighting skills like Mixed Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, American boxing or kickboxing or some martial arts. In fact, add in good tactical shooting and knife fighting skills. The absolute confidence this builds in you is immense. Of course, this needs to be coupled with financial means and monetary independence.
I can tell you, the way I’m preparing my kid, no one will ever mess with her. This is the only way she will be able to be free to live the way she wants, whatever it is. However weird it is perceived to be by anyone else. To chart her own path just like I am trying to now.