Alas, sometimes the things people say (or type, as the case may be) so bother and upset me that I am compelled to respond. Not out of a desire to be confrontational, but out of a desire to be an opposing voice to the sheep-like regurgitation we hear day after day from people who so willingly embrace and are so ensconced in the status quo that they never once question who they harm by their attitudes or what it really means to trample on other people’s beliefs, liberties and freedoms. They buy into the fear that, if other people were to gain the same level of affluence, liberty and protection that they enjoy, and exhibit the same level of freedom, then they will somehow lose their own; as if there can be no “ours” there can only be “mine.” They are either so arrogant or insecure in their own sense of reality and set of beliefs that they feel they must try to force it onto other people to validate their choices and way of life or to educate the misinformed to bring them to the same level of enlightenment. And I’m not talking about being visible or honest about who you are. I’m talking about trying to make others like you.
And that’s when my feathers get ruffled.
I have said it so many times before and I will continue to say it, over and over again, like a broken record: live your life as you see fit. Believe what you want to believe, behave as you want to behave, look and dress as you choose, surround yourself with the type of people you want and buy into anything that sounds good and right and sane to you. But don’t cross the line into imposing all of that onto someone else who neither asked for it nor wants it and don’t tell others they are wrong for not being just like you.
I know and accept that my life, my beliefs, my behaviors are often outside of the accepted and majority norm. They don’t fit many (most?) people. In fact, they often make people uncomfortable or even irate. And that’s fine by me. I don’t live my life to make other people happy. I neither require nor seek out their permission or approval. I live my life as I choose, I come to my own understanding of the universe, the world, people and community and I share it here on my blog or with my friends and family without apology. Not to lure others into my way of thinking, but to help illustrate and define who I am. If people feel I am someone who can add to their life, they can choose to remain engaged in my life. If they don’t, they can leave. (And many have.) Better yet, if people find simpatico with me, that’s great. There is comfort when we surround ourselves with, and interact with, like minded folk. That’s how communities, support groups and nurturing environments are built.
And I wish other people learned to live like this, determining their own rules and finding their own truths, embracing who they are and how they want to be, without shame, regret or apology but also without the need to make others follow them or embrace their beliefs or attacking others for not following suit. It is possible, believe me. I do it every day. If I required anyone else’s validation or approval of my life to live it the way I do, trust me, I would not be living my life the way I do.
You may not like who I am or what I believe, but that’s OK, because you don’t have to be me. And that is the difference between me and the people that sour my grapes: I don’t want or need to force them to think and act and believe and live as I do.
I just wish they felt the same way.