Personal Perspective: I am NOT a Square! Elliot Reid
Do I have your attention yet? Not that attention is what I’m after, or perhaps it is. Not in the typical sense. Before this becomes too much of an incoherent babbling of utter nonsense, where I try to convince you why I’m not an attention seeking square, let me tell you what I mean. When you think of the word “square” in relation to a person, what is the first thing you think of? Is it the cult classic pop culture reference of an “L” “7” weenie from The Sandlot? Is it the common depiction of one who is often considered nerdy or a geek? To ease your mind, it is none of the above.
The so-called “square” we are speaking of is the never-ending confine of an idea that places people in a box and forces them to conform to the societal roles of this seemingly cruel and torturous patriarchal society. Even though I’m pretty sure the actual Chinese proverb eluding to the necessity for individuality and non-conformity was somewhat different and referred to one taking a square peg and trying to fit it into a round hole, I disagree. Take a look around, there are squares everywhere you look. Not the literal geometric configuration of a square, but the sad realization that people are constantly trying to be something they are not. If everybody in this world is either born a square or circle, they are then forced and bound by societal rules to uphold those stereotypical ideals associated with that shape. What happens, however, if their physical embodiment is that of a square but their inherent being and essence is that of a circle or other forbidden conglomeration of a multi-sided polygon?
Does this make sense? If this supposed scenario was posed as a cute and poised children’s book, kids and parents alike would show sympathy towards the square, commenting on how it should be a circle if that’s what it wanted, or if that’s what it “truly was”. No questions asked, end of story. Easy enough, right?
What if I were to tell you that this said square was just another term for female and that the circle/polygon/amorphous structure was a male? Feel free to add your own confining construct of absurdity. What if this said square wanted, longed, and desired to be nothing more than a circle?
The conversation suddenly took an unexpected turn, didn’t it? Forget the eloquently worded children’s book shining light on his poor geometric shape. We’d have the Westboro Baptist Church picketing the square’s life, throwing lines of eternal damnation. We’d have mommies and parents hovering over and protecting their children from this square-shaped circle, who out of pure ignorance is terrified this simple being might scare, hurt, mame, or heaven-forbid, cause an unending consortium of questions. Squares liking squares and circles liking circles causes enough problems and hate crimes as it is, adding in squircles (skwir-kles) seems like passive suicide.
Why can’t all of this be as easy as the beloved square in the children’s book, who merely wanted to be more like a circle in their own unique way? For many, that’s an inspiring and often desired quality. To break the mold and be your own person – living life to the fullest and most authentically. Isn’t that the overall want and need of all humans? To be whom they want to be happily and truly. Then why (pardon my French) the fuck is this so seemingly difficult? Why are there such catastrophic consequences to being an authentic human being? Is it more than just fear and ignorance? Was Marianne Williamson accurate when she stated that, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light and not our darkness that most frightens us.” Think about it for a second. Somebody who is living their life to the fullest is often seen as intimidating to others, they are the individuals often berated or put down because of their courage, bravery, and “fuck what other people think” attitudes. Authentic people are capable of anything! Although this rant may seen like a cynical declaration of “fear the Authentics”, those who dare to “be” are the one’s who will change the world. Change is the one thing that humans seem to fear the most. Being content is safe. Safety is a constant human need and want. Although change may be absolutely paramount, safety and contentment often far outweigh the terror of the unknown. As the great wizard Albus Dumbledore once said, “It matters not what you were born, but who you grow to be”.