Quick. Define eclectic.
e·clec·tic [ i kléktik ] Definition: deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources. Synonyms: Wide Ranging, Broad based, Extensive, Comprehensive, Varied, Diverse, Assorted. Antonyms: Same, Like, Similar, Specific, Unvaried
The word comes from the 1600’s and references a group of ancient philosophers who selected doctrines from every system. It seems like they picked from all available sources and mixed and matched to produce a final view.
On so many fronts I am eclectic. I love things from varied sources. I love to choose what is best for me. My interests are wide and varied. I like things from so many different backgrounds and sources.
Now. I cannot make money off of my eclectic nature, nor can I successfully share all of these varied things with a wide audience (most will never understand), but there are some things I can share with a few people around me. A little here. A little there. You get a little bit of my eclectic nature and someone else will get another portion of it. Some things you will accept, and other things someone else will accept.
In fact, there have been several who have called me a “renaissance man” – essentially a man of any period who has a broad range of intellectual interests… Except my eclectic interest is not always of the intellectual pursuit…
It is true that I love intellectual thought of eclectic directions and when playing Trivial Pursuit it comes to mind that I am loaded with details, or the ability to derive at a fairly intellectual answer based upon assumption of known facts.
However, there is no telling what will grab my attention, and at least a little of my focus.
Who would of thought that I would like Uncle Kracker singing Dobie Gray’s hit “Drift Away”, or that a little known science fiction book series would grab my interest, or the collecting of cigarette lighters (when I was younger), or beginning a “Gurley Artifacts Museum” to all things “Gurley”. Or enjoying Globe Trekker travel shows on YouTube.
In fact, I love the style of Max Headroom doing his Coca Cola commercials (Click Here) Sort of like a futurist Science Fiction idea...
Eclectic. Getting things from a varied source, but also enjoying varied sort of “stuff…”.
Over the years my eclectic nature keeps expanding, looking for something new or different to enjoy. A few years ago I heard the Folgers coffee jingle, “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup” – only the little boy misunderstood the jingle and put his toy soldiers in the cup and poured the coffee over them and then delivered to his mom in bed. This made me pay attention to the unique Folgers jingle over the years and I have grown to really enjoy their variety. I’ve made a small collection of these jingles and enjoy all the contestants that attempt to get their idea as the next big commercial.
I enjoy Popular Mechanic, but a mechanic I am not. I enjoy reading and studying scripture, but there who have devoted their entire life to a single writer and I enjoy more than just the one author. (Add, Popular Science, Photography, and a host of other subjects
Since about 6 years of age I have enjoyed collecting coins and have expanded that over the years to currency – and not following one country, but eclectically choosing based upon history, or color, or story-line. Modern day music does not grab my attention, but mention Jim Reeves or Eddy Arnold then I can probably sing along with any of their song titles.
Another thing I enjoy is word usage and history. My uncle in TX introduced me to palindrome’s – you know, words and phrases that are the same whether you read left to right, or right to left – MOM, DAD, POP, etc. In AK he introduced me to one – A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama – this one is so unique that you must break the words down when you read from right to left. Go ahead…. Try it. This made me find other eclectic word usage models: odomodopia (also Onomatopoeia), Morphosyntactic, etc… (GIVE ME SOME MORE CATEGORIES… Please?)
It’s not that I enjoy living in the past or history periods, but there is much about the modern world that is changing rapidly the way we participate. Along the way I’ve decided that I would love to be a world traveler, and there is not a continent I would not enjoy going to. Antarctica, anyone? Though I feel I am still a techie, there is much about the modern tech world that is very confusing and scarey – yet I try to keep my hands touching it so I will not lose too much advantage.
One good thing about my personal identity, my kids know my style and introduce me to things they know (or think they know) that I will enjoy. From them I found Alison Krauss and have grown to enjoy that bluegrass style of playing, and the soft mellow voice of Norah Jones – these music styles fit me more than I could ever realize.
Finally. I am very eclectic in my choice of friends. Over the years I have never really connected with people in a way that keeps me in close contact. We have moved a number of times – Texas, Alaska, Texas, Alaska, Washington. This makes it difficult to stay connected. Close. Comfortable. There are several men who are close friends of mine. There is one here in Washington, one in Alaska, one in southern California, one in Tennessee, and one in Texas that I used to work with. There are many other friends I love to connect with, but we seldom do except by email or Facebook. Of all these friends, there is one here in WA that I see regularly, CA and TN – we have regular chats several times a month, and in TX I have a good friend I worked with and we pick up where we left off and that might be 6-12 months between. My wife has a very close friend that she worked with in TX back at the beginning of our marriage – she’s now in TN and is in regular Facebook contact with us and the kids.
A true eclectic person can decorate in a way that seems so weird to most people, but to them it fits, it rhymes, and it has patterns and colors that most will never grasp.
So… Have a voice and definition to your style. Are you eclectic? I am i-kletick….
One thought about this concept… There is nothing new under the sun. What I’m talking about has been a part of the identity of humans the world over, since the beginning of time. On some way we are all eclectic. The danger is when our eclectic attitude draws us from the normal into the abnormal. Trust me. There is a lot of abnormal stuff out there that may look innocent in the beginning. Before long, you can stray too far down the strange path.
King David said something in an “eclectic” song found in Psalms 119. In fact, this psalms is divided in small sections representing each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each section references the Word of God. The last verse says:
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; Seek Your servant, For I do not forget Your commandments. (Psalms 119:176 NKJV)
It asks for God to seek him out because he has strayed and become lost… Much like a sheep wandering from the fold. Yet. He never forgets God’s commandments. This is important. This is why much of our eclectic focus needs to be upon the Word of God – because we will never forget what we learned… a long time ago.