Why being weird can be good

Is being weird good or bad? 

It is usually the time away from my computer when ideas and inspiration arrive.

Last week, after a busy day, recording Facebook Live on Holistic Dental Care for Dogs, I needed to get some fresh air. I was not on Pax dog walking duty which was a perfect opportunity for a mellow ocean paddle.

Paddleboarding is an excellent remedy for impatience as the progression is very slow. Being on the ocean also provides a backdrop for real life because the ocean doesn’t always do as we wish. The constant change, the waves from boats and the occasional noisy jet skis are an annoying part of the experience besides the pleasant aspects of being on the ocean.

As I was paddling, two seals came along clearly enjoying the destruction from what may be their "groundhog" day.  I love seals as they look like very sleek, wet dogs. When Pax swims, he looks like them too.

As I was slowly moving along the shore, I noticed that the houses were strikingly similar to each other except for a few small details.

same houses

I couldn’t help but wonder, what makes people feel compelled to blend in and do as others do. Construction and architecture are some examples but almost every other aspect of life demonstrates the human tendency to "sameness." Good examples are fashion, interior design and food.

Those of you who still remember the days of travelling 🥴 most likely remember that the busiest streets are lined by stores selling the same trinkets. Wouldn't it be better to offer something unique and original?

The tendency to uniformity of choice exists in dog care. Most people still use collars instead of harnesses because that is what most people do and when it comes to medicine, most treatment protocols are repeated without considering the individual nature of the dog.

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To be fair, there are (or there were) reasons why we, the most successful species on Earth, are drawn to “sameness.” Evolution has taught us to convene because being different and eccentric often carried the risk of being marginalized or shunned. Our brain is subconsciously searching for the familiar and the same applies in the animal kingdom including our dogs. They often love to play with dogs that are similar and that they feel comfortable with.

The subliminal, unconscious search for sameness may have served us well for thousands of years in order to survive and not to be ousted from the tribe; however, I dare to suggest that desiring and expecting sameness now is, as we all know, problematic.

Most existential, societal and medical problems wouldn’t be solved without a few individuals who dare to be and think differently. They do so despite the high probability of being looked down upon as weird, crazy and eccentric. I mean it is usually so until the remaining 99.999 % of the population realize it was them who were wrong, crazy and weird. Good examples are bloodletting and arsenic purging in medicine and yoga as a form of disease prevention and a plant-based diet in human nutrition.

My experience is that simple, non-conventional solutions can help to solve otherwise stubborn and challenging problems.

Here are some examples:

To conclude today’s writing. If you catch yourself NOT doing or changing something because you worry about what THEY would say, STOP IT 😉 ! Be the real, honest, 100% you. Those whose sport is to criticize others for being themselves are most likely just insecure and are having a hard time breaking their mould.  

The best gift you can give them is to show them that being authentic is easier than pretending you are someone who you are not. I bet that people who inspire you and your love are also unafraid to break the mould.

To summarize, if you want to be authentic, be like your dearest canine friend!

© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM



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