Thursday, March 12, 2009

New ideas are typically first ridiculed

That's a sculpture of a Delaware Blue Hen.
My city friends politely snickered at me last night when I mentioned I'm planning to adopting baby chickens in April to keep in my back yard.

"Why?" they said, trying to contain their mirth.

"So I can grow my own food and eat more locally," I answered seriously.

They sort-of understood that motivation.

Keeping chickens is so far outside of their paradigm, it was humorous to them. I can take it. I have my hen-talk group. We are creating a new "normal." We humans are a lot like chickens. We like to belong to our flock. We don't want to be the first to do something, for fear of ridicule.

I got the idea from a group of people --
Groton Local -- who endorsed it and offered support and guidance. It seemed normal and even cool to them. So I jumped on the group's train. It's easier to get on someone else's train than to build my own locomotive and engine house.

New ideas are typically first ridiculed before eventually being accepted as truth.

Twenty years ago, the notions of curbside recycling, banning smoking in restaurants or an African-American president would have been dismissed as ludicrous.

They're the new normal.

I can relate to my city friends. In the 1990s, I bought eggs from two neighbors who kept chickens in our apple-orchard-farm-town-turned-Boston-commuting-suburban. I thought they were a little fringe.

Their eggs were mighty fresh and delicious. My city friends will be clamouring for my home-raised, free-range eggs. And I'll get the last laugh.

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