Just Be Yourself

Because it’s that simple.  Note the sarcasm.


It took me a while to figure what it meant to “be yourself”.  I always thought it meant wearing unique or homemade fashion accessories.  Maybe it was choosing to talk a certain way, like using correct grammar and words that people haven’t heard of since their Senior year in High School.  Apparently, I was wrong.

Being yourself means to hold beliefs, opinions, and standards that are yours in spite of what other people have to say about it.  It means not letting other people sway you from thinking or feeling a certain way.  I don’t mean feeling strongly about your love for chocolate.  I mean something more substantial, like how equality means everyone is treated the same.  It does not mean that the boogey men are now treated badly as they have done to others.  It means everyone is treated the same.

I have to admit that I have always held non-traditional opinions.  I have a hard time biting my tongue about them but I am learning the wisdom that there are times and places where it is a good idea to do so.  I am also learning that I do not want to be apart of something just to be apart of something.  Even if that means people disagree with me and do so in the face of all that seems logical and reasonable to myself.  I suppose this is why I dislike living in Ye Olde Timey Towne of the MidWest so much.  People seem to confuse facts with opinions without even considering that could be happening.

You don’t like that person and you can’t remember why?  That must be good enough reason to treat them horribly and pass them over for jobs, loans, etc.  This is the attitude that has festered in this town.  I was hoping I wouldn’t run into it in too many other places.  Momma didn’t raise no complete idiot.  I knew I’d run into it in other places, I just wasn’t expecting to run into it in so many places and in so many people.  Where has the common sense and common courtesy gone?  It seems to have been replaced with hypocrisy and nepotism.  I may have to look into buying that deserted island afterall.

What does all this have to do with being yourself?  It is hard to be yourself when so many naysayers are around, sometimes literally yelling at you for holding logical and sensible beliefs.  I do not base my belief system on unseen powers or on vengeful feelings towards those who have wronged me.  I try to find a balancing ground where I can look at things from an objective viewpoint.  No person is an island.  This often mistaken phrase means that everything we do has an impact on those around us.  I have learned in my time (and it has been short so far) that choosing to behave in a way that impacts those around you in a less negative way is usually for the best.  However, I must draw this line at some point.  There are people who would wish to be rather aggressive with their overly emotional belief systems and they seem to be under the mistaken viewpoint that in order for their belief system to be valid, they must persuade me to think the same way.

This one always blows me away.  I am always at a loss when people communicate to me in a way that makes it obvious that their way of thinking, feeling, observing, etc is superior simply because it is theirs and then they go one step further by trying to make me agree with them.  Total loss.  Even more disappointing is that I see this attitude more and more among the generation behind me.  This is not to say that there aren’t those who aren’t wonderful.  Pardon the double negative.  I know many people who are younger than I am and who impress me to the point of wanting to improve myself.  I know more, however, that make me want to hermit away forever so that I do not end up with free room and board for the rest of my life.

So in just being myself, I have learned that other people are trying to just be themselves too.  And I think they’re doing it wrong.  Ah, the paradox.

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