How being sheltered improves your socialization

Michael Jackson at the Cannes film festival.

Image via Wikipedia

Wow, I am really sorry guys. Yesterday was a pretty tough day for me, and I completely forgot about my poor blog. So I hope you’ll forgive me and read this, even though it’s a day late. 🙂

I remember about three and half years or so ago, I was riding in a car with Bro. James and Bro. Phil, two of the staff at Shenandoah Boy’s Ranch. We were out doing errands, while the rest of the guys at the ranch were off doing… other stuff, I don’t remember what. It was a privilege to get the exclusive privilege to ride with them. We always looked forward to such things to help break up the predictability of our lives. (And I liked it also because of the funny odd feeling I got riding in a car – I’m so ridiculously used to big rigs that riding in a car feels like flying a space ship.)

We were discussing things along the way all friendly-like, and the conversation turned from my odd taste in movies (a very popular subject of discussion at the ranch, heh) to my lack of knowledge of things sporting. Sporty? Sportish. Whatever.

I was challenged to name a single sports star. I named Babe Ruth.

Why? Because in Peanuts, Snoopy was planning to tie his home run record. (We have an old hardbound copy of Peanuts from my dad’s childhood personal library.)

That was all I could name.

They were flabbergasted, and a tad bit overcome with discombobulation. “You don’t even know who Michael Jordan is??” they said.

“Um… you mean the black guy who looks funny because of all the plastic surgery?”

* dead silence and shocked awe at my endless knowledge of sports stars *

Evidently there are two famous people with the first name of Michael and whose last names start in J. Go figure. Sounds like a grand plan… let’s all confuse Jay!

Now anyone who knows me reasonably well (at least my more modern regenerated form, even though my hair isn’t quite ginger yet) knows that I am quite a bit more aware of my secular surroundings than I was. Quite a bit, yes quite a bit.

But here’s the thing. In ten seconds flat I had not only discovered who Michael Jordan is, but what he is famous for (and the connection to the tennis shoes too). And I remembered too. Well, most of it anyway.

And not only that, but now I also know a good deal more about Michael Jackson too (having watched a few of his songs and such like and fiddled with the moonwalk a tidbit).

That didn’t take more than a couple days. And I was completely caught up with all the other raving fans. (Well maybe not with the maniacs who know every bit of ML trivia that ever existed and some that didn’t, but who cares about that stuff?)

So what’s the point?

Well the point is… what would have been the point in me learning it all earlier?

They were astonished at my lack of secular knowledge, but why? Up to that point I didn’t need it, and once I did need it, I picked it up faster than you pick up red spots from a measle party. So who cares when I learned it, as long as I know it when I need to know it?

So at least as far as trivia about the world at large is concerned, who cares? Learn it when you need it, and you’ll be fine. No need to gorge yourself on the things ‘society’ says you need to know just in case you ever need to… talk about it… or something.

I am insatiably curious. Absolutely indefatigable when it comes to finding stuff out. Anything, I really don’t care what it is, as long as I don’t know it and I know I can know it. But even I find things uninteresting until something or someone has piqued my fascination in it. Prove to me its value (even if all it takes is mentioning it to me) and I’ll go and jump into it. But not before.

It’s similar with socialization. It’s ridiculous to say that your family and those you learn from and your mentors and even your books aren’t “society” and that by spending time with them isn’t “socializing.” It’s simply rubbish.

What people are saying when they accuse us sheltered people of not being socialized is that we aren’t learning the things they think are important.

Such as the difference between the MJs.

They value such things, and they measure our competence on their plane of value. But we’re using an entirely different axis, a radically different dimension to measure our success and competence.

Sheltering your children merely means you are consciously choosing what measure of competence you are using, and then prioritizing their influences based upon it. Very simple.

So are you missing out?

Yep.

But you want to. It’s not that you don’t like those things (hey, it’s rather interesting, at least to me anyway). It’s just that you’d rather learn other things first. Your priorities are different.

Make sense? Good. 😉

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