“Chemistry is a subject of exceptions..” my teacher began. She paced sideways towards the periodic table hung on the sidewall and continued, “Understanding the concepts behind these exceptions will help, not memorization.”
As I doodled on my notebook page, I reflected on what she said. True enough, it’s the exceptions that have always made the telling difference, rather than the monotone or the expected scheduling. How many times has the kindness of one man stood up against the cruelty of tens? Or the wits of one prospered over the foolishness of hundreds? Or how has the faith of one fared against the thousands who had given up?
My teacher went on about Xenon having some special properties which allowed it to form compounds even though it was a noble gas. Yes, of course this analogy fits into reality as well. Exceptions are often the product of certain different abilities, unique to each which makes everyone an exception. Exceptions root from nothing less than stubbornness, patience and an iron clad resolution of never giving up, among others. Funnily enough, the exact concept of exceptions is relative – what maybe an exception to you may be a common phenomenon for the others. Yet it would be foolish to assume that one needs a special power, a special talent within oneself to stand out in a crowd. I have seen and believed that every human being has something different and unique in their skill set; it just needs proper introspection and belief to unleash that. But even more than that,
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
― J.K. Rowling,
Your skills are just a tool to make you an exception. It’s how you utilize them decide whether you’re going to be an exception worth some positivity or negativity. Well planned conspiracy killed Julius Caesar, and the unnerving faith and oratory skills of Mark Antonio avenged him. Brutus’ righteousness set him apart; but is he looked upon as reverently as Antonio? A tool cannot be good or evil – a knife is not evil in itself, it depends on the wielder.
Exceptions are not just decisions. They can be a circumstance, an event, or a trait. But probably the most troubling aspect of this is when you are affected by someone else’s exceptional decision, circumstance, event or trait. It is vital to understand that they are as unique as yours, and as crucial and important to them as your calls are to you. Yet, we want our exceptional endevours to be accepted while we don’t open up to the possibility of accepting exceptions imposed on us. In such a scenario, considering oneself as an egg shell proves to be a useful analogy. The shell is meant to be broken, you are meant to break; either from an inside peck or an outside whack. The outside whack feeds a hungry stomach while the inside peck gives a new life. In both the cases, the shell breaks, the insides pop out in different forms, and the results are both positive in their own amiable way. To someone who does not understand growth or development, this process would seem devastatingly gruesome.
Exceptions are encountered at every step. Every step can be an exception to someone or the other. They can be manufactured from anything; thoughts, aspirations, wishes..
“Finished with your daydreams, Vishvaraj?” my teacher’s voice jolted me back to the reality. “Care to tell us what were you dreaming about?” she asked.
“Exceptions, ma’am. Just following up on what you explained.”
She smiled, and I got the hint that she understood way more than what I expected to reveal.