Don’t let his incredibly interesting outfit confuse you. This young man is a deep thinker. Great thinkers often are quirky people with no concern for societal conventions.
Like matching clothes.
Throughout history, people who think and act differently have been ridiculed. Some of our most significant ideas have come from people others have seen as “different”.
Immanuel Kant is considered one of the brightest people ever to live. His ideas have impacted science as well as philosophy. He was obsessively scheduled; he chose never to waste time. Food wasn’t a focus–he only ate lunch. Every moment of his life was planned and lived precisely.
Diogenes, a philosopher born in Turkey around 410 BC, lived a life of such quirkiness that people didn’t know how to take him. He’s one of the fathers of Cynicism, which is to live a life of virtue in agreement with nature, as simply as possible. Nothing like modern cynicism. Most of Diogenes’ life was lived in a large ceramic pot. Such eccentricities were borne from his desire to have people see beyond the norms that shaped their lives.
Quirky. But they lived what they believed. And they didn’t care what others thought.
Beck, at three and a half, thinks about a lot of things. Right now one of his passions centers around bodily functions. “Stinky butt” is a favorite name for just about everyone. He doesn’t care that adults aren’t fond of it. It gives him great delight to say it. Most people believe this is cute–he’s a little boy after all.
Culturally we struggle with people living their way, especially if it’s different from what is seen as acceptable. People clamor for freedom of speech and being able to present their arguments if they believe it’s right. If people disagree with them, they’re dismissed, canceled, or not allowed to voice their thoughts or opinions.
Why? Because we disagree? Isn’t that the dignity we give to others, letting them voice their thoughts? Not in hurting or threatening others, but in having the dialogue so we can learn to appreciate one another.
Jesus had some of His best dialogues with the religious leaders of His day, men who didn’t want Him teaching about the kingdom of God, forgiveness, and grace. It messed up their carefully structured system, rules, and regulations that kept everyone under their thumb.
What Jesus offered was freedom from the legalism of organized religion. He had no patience for self-righteousness.
“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment–the absolute basics–you carelessly take it or leave it.” Matthew 23:23
To the religious leaders of His day, Jesus wasn’t quirky–He was dangerous, offering people hope instead of rules, love instead of shame.
Our culture wants to do the same thing to those who believe in Jesus. Explain away faith as a crutch, discount changed lives as choices of morality, and minimize the beauty and wonder of faith and what it does for each individual.
Beck ponders what’s important to him where he is now, He will learn and grow. The things he talks about now can be chalked up to immaturity and lack of experience.
What’s our excuse?