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Geek is for Everyone

Geeks and nerds tend to get made fun of. That’s a social stigma that’s existed for years, and most of us have probably experienced it in one way or another – if you’ve ever thought that it’s not cool to be smart, to be passionate about something that isn’t necessarily mainstream, to be called a know-it-all, smart ass, or teacher’s pet. There’s this odd jealousy, dislike, something, against nerds and geeks. It doesn’t feel good when all that is aimed at you. It’s disheartening, and heartbreaking. After a while, you get used to it, and you sit quietly, afraid to expose your true feelings, afraid to answer questions in class, afraid to go to conventions, lectures, knitting classes, whatever. And you’re afraid to tell anyone about it.

 

With that kind of background, I was beyond excited when John Green right out stated that being a nerd is awesome. That’s not to say that a public statement of nerd pride was a radical new happening; thousands of Star Trek fans, anime fans, train model enthusiasts, comic book readers, Tolkien lovers, and bird fanciers have met, talked, and rejoiced over years and years. But John Green is something special – he’s an influential figure among teenagers, which are prime years for personal growth and shrinkage, and he’s letting those teenagers know that there is no reason to be ashamed of what you love.

 

Specifically, he said: “…nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff’. Which is not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”

 

I think that’s an important lesson for everyone to learn – there is no shame in loving what you love, or being excited about it, or learning everything you can and sharing your knowledge about it. One of the great things about being human is that we’re able to communicate ideas and feelings with each other, and our ability to feel so passionately about something fuels that communication in a meaningful way.

 

So get enthusiastic! Explore hobbies, crafts, movies, TV shows, books, painting, writing, sewing, video games, collecting, and gardening! Find something that speaks to you and share it! Embrace your inner nerd.

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