1. Selecting or employing individual elements from a variety of systems, sources, or styles.
2. Made up of or combining elements from a variety of sources.
[Redneck definition]… A whole bunch of shit that don’t match.
This whole concept fascinates me. It is probably why I am so interested in collage. Eclectic is how you would describe how my home is decorated, as well as the inside of my head, my library and my list of friends. “A whole bunch of shit that don’t match.” I have always, it seems, had a fascination with facts and odd bits of knowledge that, in and of themselves, have been of little use. My wife has always called me “The King of useless knowledge”, but, she says it with a smile knowing that knowledge can never be useless and, I think, with a little pride in her voice. If you have ever seen old episodes of “The Adams Family” you could not help but conclude that we must have employed the same decorator.
I’m concluding today that an eclectic view is one of the keys to happiness. I’m concluding that “specialization” is a form of poison that kills you slowly, from the head down. That learning more and more about less and less is not how we fulfill our destiny. Rather, I am concluding today that our only hope of ever being capable of making the ongoing repairs so necessary to keep our minds and bodies on the path of happiness is filling our toolboxes with everything, every tidbit of knowledge, every fact and curiosity we can lay our minds on. Making of our minds Swiss army knives rather than scalpels.
The problem with what we call “education” today is that it is anti-eclectic. Education, as most see it, is nothing more than a way to get a job and the list of things to memorize so that you can, in conversation, sound like you deserve the job. You could say…. Education is seen as a whole bunch of shit that DOES match. The SOL tests that American children must take to successfully pass from grade to grade is the epitome of the anti-eclectic world view. Telling children what to think rather than how to think. Feeding them stones rather than letting them graze out on their own on diamonds.
How many times have I heard the question… “Why would you want to know that?”
You can only smile.
How many times have you heard a person say about a piece of artwork… “So what’s that supposed to mean?”
You can only smile.
The Swiss Army Knife is the reason Switzerland has remained an unconquered country and a bastion of freedom for so long. Whenever someone tries to attack and conquer Switzerland the first member of the Swiss Army to come in contact with enemy forces shouts out…..
“Stay where you are and be warned… I have a toothpick.” And if, by some chance, you happen to get by me… my comrade has a spoon.”