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“… and by now, everyone has heard, and everyone is talking about it, and the gossip and the rumors have already gotten out of hand…”
“But you have to keep it a secret. These guys really don’t need to know about that.”
Why is it, do you suppose, any of us cares at all about society’s opinions of us? Yes, we should try to generally be good people. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated, put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and practice gratitude. Avoid hurting people and don’t lie, cheat, or steal. We can easily draw to mind a hundred phrases and notions of doing right and doing right by our neighbors. We should, really, all be mindful of the greater good, and being a positive addition to the world around us.
But why does it matter what our peers and acquaintances think? Whether or not your neighbor thinks that orange coat you have is pretty or ugly has absolutely no place in making you feel any better or worse when you wear it. The lady three blocks down dyes her hair neon green and it doesn’t hurt me one bit. If you love it (whatever it happens to be) and how you feel, that’s what matters. It’s not my hair or my coat, so why would you care what I think?
The very reason that so many variations of anything exist is because we are each individuals with different tastes, wants, needs, likes, dislikes, and on and on. I enjoy all kinds of music, where my friend will only listen to country music. Her hatred for death metal does not change my love for it, and why does it matter that she doesn’t like it, I’m the one listening to it. My favorite color is blue, her favorite is yellow… and that’s OK as well.
If something about you is unconventional, but not harmful, it’s really nobody’s business. Likewise, if something about the person next to you is unconventional, but not harmful, it’s none of your business. How you feel about his boyfriend or he feels about your lawn décor should not be impressed upon each other or made to be superior. If no one is being harmed, your opinion of it is irrelevant, and their opinion of you is the same.
The pressures and influences of society to conform and blend are astonishing. Act this certain way, appreciate these certain items, and make sure your home is this particular color scheme… or else we will judge you! Just stop! Surround yourself with what makes you happy. Stop letting the likes and dislikes of others make you think you have to like or dislike something different than what your own heart desires, and for the love of Pete, don’t push your ideas back on them.
It turns out it’s OK for us to agree to disagree! It’s OK for us to find neutral ground, to compromise, to hold different opinions but to also coexist. You don’t like my car and I don’t like your style, but we both know the family across the street needs help when their house catches on fire.
Be the good in the world. Don’t spew negativity and conflict, bring people up. Watch out for each other, look for the real bad guys instead of vilifying someone because they actually like bleu cheese dressing. Pick people up when they fall, and work together to fill in the hole that tripped them. You with your green hair, the symphony-loving guy on the corner, and the lady in apartment 3C with that orange coat.