When I write articles such as you see below, please know that it not born of ego. I do not consider my personal thoughts to be important, accept of course to me. I have no doubt that most of you have better things to do than read about my observations of self and others, and my opinions. I can however only relate personal views through personal experiences and observations, and I do want this blog to “come from the heart“, so to speak.
The lone wolf character has long been romanticized in both fictional and factual literature. He/she goes their own way, sometimes heroically, and often for the good of all.
Actors such as Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson and Sylvester Stallone have portrayed the lone wolf in films. In their cases, the lone wolf was the brave wolf as well.
In 1970, a young lady described me as a “lone wolf”. No, not the romantic and brave hero, but an antisocial “go it yourself” nutcase. Someone who shunned social interaction and who did not have an admirable outlook on life, but rather that of a social outcast. She indicated that my opinions on life, were contrary to most other people, and often unusual. They seemed normal to me, so just maybe I was in fact an oddity.
I had friends, I played group games, and I attended school with only minor, occasional problems. Later in life I married into a family which had eight kids.
While my opinions were often different from everyone in any given group, it didn’t seem to me, that they were so odd.
When I was a child, I drove my family (especially my mother) crazy as I would talk incessantly about this baseball player or that race car driver. I don’t blame them for getting sick of it, and they did try to be kind to me. Still, my mother bless her heart “lost it” so to speak, three or four times in my youth. When I was a grownup (some would take issue that I ever grew up), my mom and dad went to a lot of car races and found themselves in a social group of nice people which with to hang out. My mother had a favorite drive and she talked a lot about him. At a dinner one day when we were with those people, she was talking constantly about that one favorite driver. I proved myself a lousy son and certainly not worthy of the romantic term lone wolf, when I chided her for doing the same thing I did when I was a child. She laughed but I hurt her and I knew it. I spent the rest of her life feeling like I had been mean to my own mother.
Being a lone wolf sometimes makes you think you have a license to be impertinent. You do not. The lone wolf concept is selfish in an of itself, and remaining above the worst aspects of being that lone wolf, is the only way that you or I can feel worthy of the positive side of being such. A rude lone wolf is at least as rude as anybody else.
While I have always had a social component to my life, it is true that I have always needed time to myself. Go out tomorrow and make some images with a great friend, or a group of friends, go out the next day alone. Take a photography related road trip with a friend, the next time go it along.
My ex-mother-in-law once said to me, Wayne you surely do travel to the beat of a different drummer. Given that I was separated from her daughter at the time, I do not believe she was flattering me.
Being a lone wolf does not have to mean you are heroic. I am living proof. That is, if I actually am a lone wolf.
I do not admit to deliberately trying to be different than the status quo, but I can say that at this stage of my life, it does not disappoint me to be such. At least when you dangle from your own solitary limb, you have only yourself to reckon with if it breaks. I take nobody with me.
How do I reckon this loner, oddball sort of character, with my faith in God? Well, the Bible is replete with characters who were “different” from others. Different sorts of lone wolves. Paul comes to mind. A capturer and hater of Christians. Doing so only to ship them off to the Romans for trial and death. Then one day a vision of Jesus met him on the road to Damascus. At that moment, he turned away from his “duties” for the Romans, and went on to serve Christ until the Romans finally killed him many years after the Resurrection.
No, I am not comparing myself to the Apostle Paul or any other noble Biblical character. What I am saying is, it’s nice to have other lone wolf characters in high places.
I suspect I’ll go along in life often disagreeing with the main stream of thought, regardless of which political of social stance they hold. That is certainly not because my path is better, but only because I cannot be any other way. It is innate in me to honestly explore the good and bad of everything, including myself. Whenever I look over here, I see something new over there.
The lone wolf, almost by definition, will at times be the lonely wolf.
I suspect that all of us has both a “pack mentality” and a lone wolf mentality banging against each other much of the time. I guess it’s both the things we share and the things that we don’t that make us who we are.
The image below came from Google Photos.
16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.