An outcast is defined as a person who has been rejected by society or a social group.
The definition does not state the reason behind such rejection nor does it assign any value, positive or negative, to such a status. It just defines a recipient of an action.
Such rejection however is almost always related to a perceived negativity or harm to the group from the individual who is ultimately rejected. Defiance of norms, questioning of long held views or scoffing at said group’s defining hallmarks, is typically grounds for executing such a sentence. And I fully appreciate and understand how this can be the outcome for someone who insists on defying a foundational truth held by the group (e.g. a Muslim rejecting monotheism) but what about the ones who are deemed societal rejects for defiance of a widely and systematically accepted practice that is fundamentally wrong (e.g. those who sought to end legalized racial discrimination)?
I am intrigued by the tug of war that must go on within the mind of the latter. I think that we, as humans, seek comfort or perhaps validation in numbers. “Everyone is doing it” is many times offered up as justification for accepting a norm that is wrong. I think it is ultimately easier and less taxing on the mind to have this sense of validation even if some doubt exists. So for someone to risk such comfort, to risk rejection and isolation is not an easy decision no matter how noble. Something is special about that “outcast” and I find myself asking the following questions
But most importantly to me is
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