Greetings and Salutations,
Je suis l’etranger (I am the stranger) and welcome to my blog. Recently I have felt an emptiness in my life, and friend encouraged me to write. When I was nearing the end of my high school career, a similar thing occurred which led to me starting a different blog. I’m all for new beginnings though, so this space is a chance for a fresh start for me to share my perspective on the world as I see it and for you, the reader, to respond however you would like.
Let me take a moment now to explain the title of my blog. I first read The Stranger by Albert Camus during my senior year of high school, and it spoke volumes to me despite its brevity. The main character is a man out of place in our world; he fits in yet never truly belongs. I feel this way at times. Society requests that we conform to its boundaries and niceties in a way which does not always encourage authenticity. Instead of providing support and flexibility for individuals who are termed “outsiders”, we often ask them to change or hide components of their truest self. We label these people “different”, “strange”, “weird”, “disabled”, and a variety of other words and phrases. Perhaps instead of worrying about these individuals so much, we should shine the light of critical examination on our own habits and societal constructs to see if maybe they aren’t in need of some labels of their own.
We live in a world in which it is perfectly acceptable for leaders of nations to hurl petty insults at other human beings, organizations, and countries. People may verbalize their outrage, and protests may occur, but where is the real change? Media outlets are run by executives who want the most viewers, yet we trust these same outlets for our unbiased information and accept it as such? Studies about food and nutrition are conducted so poorly that probably every study you have ever heard cited anywhere would not stand up to actual scientific testing, yet we still sit by and share with our friends that “one glass of red wine will lower your blood pressure” and “honey is just as bad as artificial sweeteners”. Our physical education programs in public schools get kids active but often fail to teach young people how to maintain a life of health and wellness in a way that is doable for them. People are allowed to blatantly discriminate against other people based on their religion, sexual orientation, sex, race, weight, attractiveness, and a myriad of other factors without any (or at least many) repercussions. Where is the justice in that?
Pondering all of those issues and realizing that there are at least a million more like it makes me angry beyond belief. Next time you see that girl wearing an obvious wig at the grocery store, instead of tapping your companion on the shoulder and whispering in their ear, “Hey, look over at the girl in the cereal aisle”, maybe you should say, “Why are the damn name brands so much more expensive?!” and smile at the girl.