In the Company of Rascals

There are friends who are of a nature, to some, who may seem deviant. The truth is likely.. it’s only so, because they are! And here we enter the quicksand of etymology; the study of words; what they mean, where they came from and how to use them.

Thus it is important to know the ‘true and original meaning’ of any word; in any language; to fully understand the conveyance of intention in the moment. Read a word wrong and it’s a recipe for embarrassment… if not worse!

Now… back to the company of rascals.

Far too many will shy away from those who venture off the ‘societal grid’. Who, ‘walk to the beat of a different drummer’. Those who ‘push the boundaries of the norm’. Because they fear one of two things; more than likely, both! Those ‘feelings’ leading to the avoidance of a ‘rascal’, or heaven forbid, the ‘company of rascals’ are, FEAR and APPREHENSION

FEAR is a wildly destructive condition. Too prevalent in our society today. Fear, locked to an emotional response, has NEVER helped anyone. Unless you count the adversary who feeds off such fear. It most certainly has effectively trimmed the population of humanity; many times in horrific manner. Thus, FEAR, based in an emotional response, is not a good thing.

However, if the kind of FEAR, being experienced, is used in the proper context of, ‘being in an extreme state of respect and honor to a greater power’, then this ‘framework’ of FEAR is not only good, but healthy and …’the right thing to do’. A ‘healthy fear [ie, respect] for heights, size, danger, wrong-headed judgement, the great unknown can be a good thing; to the point of saving ones life!

None of these conditions are the paralyzing, emotion-gripping, gut-wrenching condition that locks us down and renders us useless.

No, the ‘healthy mode’ of FEAR, is the one that liberates and provides a clear path for avoiding, the very FEAR that would paralyze and lead to an early elimination from the life path..! i.e., FATAL.

The other factor to consider for why people dislike rascals, is APPREHENSION. Apprehension is an … ‘a view, opinion, or idea on any subject that causes, anticipation of adversity or misfortune; suspicion or fear of future trouble or evil’. Apprehension causes opportunity to stumble; opinion to form; bias to take root and mistaken identity to occur.

Apprehension is the primary step-up, to FEAR itself. Being too aware and far too worried about what ‘others might think’, that leads to the FEAR that ‘association with a perceived ‘rascal’, would cause us to be ostracized or ridiculed, in a ‘peer group’, where we find comfort in, ‘social value’; most of which comes at the price of our own dignity and identity.

Apprehension is not ‘all bad’. In fact, as with FEAR, a healthy awareness of danger and risk should raise a bit of apprehension to step off into the limits of sensibility; from which return is a questionable éclat.

So what does THIS have to do with ‘rascals’. Actually quite a lot.

The word rascal has, as many words have over the centuries, both retained original intent and migrated, well off the path, into different-than-intended uses. The original definition was (and still can be)

‘A dishonest person; a rogue, a scoundrel, a trickster’.

In the minds of many, the word ‘rascal’ now bears an intent more in line with that last word, ‘trickster’. Not a bad person, per se, but a person who likes to have fun with little constraint to the type or intensity of the fun. Rarely dangerous, but often far from the expected norms for a given class, social or economic status.

As well the evolution of the word has experienced more a devolution into the pit of word-skullduggery; far more loathsome than the original definition.

It’s always sad to see an interesting word get such a bum wrap.

But again, what does the word rascal have in common with this commentary. Well here it is …

A rascal is, a person who is deviant (living an alternate course; departing from the norm) from the expected values of a given social structure. One who walks to their own drum and doesn’t always ‘paint within the lines’ of what society deems ‘proper’.

Yet, it’s with these people -rascals- we are often in the best of company. They are as likely to come up with great, interesting and improved ways of doing things. Activities that have been ‘done one way for as long as anyone can remember’. Why? Well, because that was ‘how’ it was done and no one asked questions or made waves. No one, until the ‘rascal’ – the ‘trickster’ – came on the scene.

Making waves and thinking ‘outside the box’, IS their personal forte in life. And we have all benefitted from the ‘outside the box’ thinking of many a rascal. When was the last time you used your mobile phone? Thanks, to several modern day rascals, employed by a rascal of a company, headed by one of the late 20th century’s greatest rascals; we connect with others from nearly any point on the surface of the earth. Many of you may well be reading this post, from a device that was the result of a ‘rascal of an apple idea’ that hit Mr. Jobs, one day!

Thus, the next time you hear someone referred to as a ‘rascal’, don’t always box them into a corner that is assumed to be bad, dangerous and less-than-human. Realize the act of such ‘pigeon-holing’, in-itself, is a wrong-headed approach to understanding people. It is also quite limiting in our own ability to grow and enjoy life.

Get to know and appreciate the beauty found in your dealings with rascals. For you will find, some of your best days in this life, can be found when in the company of rascals.

Good friend and competent ‘rascal’, Peter Brigg, wiley trout man, artist, author and raconteur was the willing participant in the creation of this eLITHOGRAPH illustrated verse, published in KYPE Magazine, Volume 7 Issue 2, 2016.

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