Kenelm Chillingly asks, “Does it not prove that no man, however wise, is a good judge of his own case? Now, your son’s case is really your case —- you see it through the medium of your likings and dislikings, and insist upon forcing a square peg into a round hole, because in a round hole you, being a round peg, feel tight and comfortable. Now I call that irrational.”
- The farmer responded, “I don’t see why my son has any right to fancy himself a square peg … when his father, and his grandfather, and his great-grandfather, have been round pegs; and it is agin’ nature for any creature not to take after its own kind.”
— Edward Bulwer Lynton in Kenelm Chillingly, His Adventures and Opinions (1873).
A square peg I am.
Can’t you see the corners and edges?
Can’t you see the flat surfaces and planes?
Upon me you can stand.
With me you can build.
I will not be rolled away.
Weight atop me you can apply.
From end to end, I will elevate like a column.
From side to side, I will establish like a fortress.
A round hole I will not fit.
Shave part of me away.
Or add to me, then maybe perhaps I will.
But if you do, I will not be happy.
For then, I have become someone else.
If I am to your liking, I may then resemble you.
I am not round like a pole.
A pole to which wires are attached I am not.
A pole from which a flag is flown I will not be.
Your likings and dislikings may whittle at me.
You may attempt to redefine me.
Then maybe you can feel tight and comfortable.
But I doubt it, indeed I do.
For as you see, you need to change me.
Your sight is perfectly all about you.
It just may be that your vision is you-centric.
The universe will always be a scary, threatening place.
You will always be unhappy.
A square peg and a round peg can live in harmony.
A square peg and a round peg can live side by side.
But if you need the someone to be the other, they will surely die.
Take away or add to what was perfectly created, they will become a misshapen mess.
Take away or add to what has been uniquely completed, they will thrash and not thrive.
If you need to alter a perfectly square peg to be more round, they will surely vie.