In Praise of Peculiar People

Today, let’s celebrate peculiar people. It’s officially Peculiar People Day, though no one knows how this one got started or why. It seems to be a nod to a group of faith healers formed by Englishman John Banyard, “Peculiar People,” in 1838. Or maybe not – the two events simply share the words “peculiar” and “people.” The peculiar and slightly murky beginnings of this day make it peculiar enough to celebrate, though you know I’m going to dig a bit deeper for you, right?

While most of the world’s institutions, including family units, religion, schools, and governments work to enforce conformity and societal norms, it feels a bit rebellious to celebrate peculiar people. First, just who are these people we’re celebrating today? People like:

Albert Einstein.

Frida Kahlo.

The first woman to experiment with blue and purple dye in her hair.

Mark Zuckerberg.

Nikola Tesla.

That Chinese man who wore 140 pounds of bees as...

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