Moment of clarity

When a rambling mind can connect a few thoughts into words …

I really don’t care about “who” a person is in the normal sense, at least not in terms of labels. I call them labels, but to many people it is their entire identity (their gender, race, age, nationality, profession, marital/family and economic status, etc). I suppose it’s rude that I never remember a person’s “stats” … I realize it’s important to them, and some things like education, professional and economic status, they may have worked very hard to achieve … so to not be interested at all is probably not “nice.” But I really don’t like the idea of it all, and since people can easily find their kudos for these things that supposedly make them “great” pretty much everywhere else, I don’t see why I should pay them any homage. I don’t like that the labels that people use to describe “who” they are, become the “differences” that cause conflict. I think one of the reasons this happens is because people are told to be “proud” of who they are in terms of these labels. Unfortunately, the distinction between pride and “I’m better than you because I’m …” is in general too fine a line for people to draw. Resentment and divisions are created when these things are no longer mundane facts; there is now a question of which is better. In dividing people this way, there are also those who become outcasts because they do not fall neatly into one category or another. Take something as “simple” as gender … it’s not nearly as black and white as many people think. There are many “shades of grey” in terms of chromosomal, hormonal & external characteristics, but society generally only accepts 2 options – male or female. I find it sad that we live in world where it is usually seen as necessary for a person, or their parents, to choose … to be forced to make that choice, whether they want to or not, in an effort to find some level of acceptance in society. I would rather not place so much importance on these labels. I think they are simplified means of defining a person … and are at times useful as such, but have little to do with what is actually important, and what really makes a person who they are. That’s what I’d like to believe … there are problems though. People do not take kindly to me wanting to strip them of their “identity,” and perhaps there would be little left if I did … that’s a sad thought.

I think what I do care about is the person you are striving to be, not what you may have done unintentionally … and not whether your ideas agree with mine. However, it’s important that your ideas are your own – that you’ve actually thought for yourself and come to a conclusion. If you only strive to be in line with popular opinion, maintaining the status quo of either the masses, or a smaller group (whoever you consider “your kind of people”), I will be sympathetic to that tendency, but not respect you for it. I respect those that can see what their real weaknesses are, and hate themselves for it. Not the self-hate that stifles people into worthless globs of depression and self pity, but the self-hate that strengthens your resolve and forces you to at least attempt to become something better. Accepting yourself, flaws and all, is pathetic. I will not join you in a twisted celebration of everything that sucks about you. I will not respect you on account of your failings, as I would not want you to do that for me. The only thing that I will accept and have respect for, in myself or in others, is the struggle to change and maintain oneself according to an ideal. Not society’s ideal, or the satisfactory/realistic/attainable one, but the one you actually think and feel is right. It’s a real “ideal” in that you will never reach it … if you do, then you aimed too low. Since we will never reach it, it can seem like setup for constant failure … well, put on your big-girl panties and deal with it. Of course it’s hard, everyone knows that, and since everyone knows that, why play games around the issue? Don’t tell me it’s ok and that there’s nothing wrong with me. Don’t tell me I’m great when I’m not, and don’t cut me down to make yourself look better. The fact that I am hard on myself is not what makes life difficult … it’s actually one of the few things I like about myself … and yet, it is something people want to change. It seems like people are always trying to twist your self perception one way or another. They may think they are doing you a favor – making their judgement as to whether you value yourself too low or too high, and trying to *fix* things accordingly. Other times they do it (consciously or unconsciously) because they are threatened by the standard you are more or less establishing, or to try to adjust their own position in relation to you. Some people spend their entire lives playing the positioning game … manipulating their lives and the lives of others with constant readjustments. I believe most things in life are relative … such as our ideas of what “happiness” is, what is “too much” to bear, what it is to be “rich” or “poor” … and I believe it is human nature to constantly compare ourselves and our lives to others. I think about things like language dialects and accents, and how finely tuned people naturally become to their native region without any conscious effort. We want to be accepted, maybe not by all, but at least some group … and I think we instinctually build our identity and position tuned to that need. I think we are obsessed with who we are relative to those around us … so much so that the “differences” we perceive amongst ourselves are blown up to monstrous proportions. I know it’s impossible to remove ourselves from the influences of the world around us … we are tainted by the mere knowledge of how others view things … and certainly the collective weight of society’s views weighs very heavily on our lives. But there must be some element of “identity” that we have that is not influenced by such things … that’s what I want to believe … and if it exists, it must be what’s important.

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