Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On Bein' Yourself an' All That!

How about this guy. Does he know he's walking in the rain - in a dress? Is he insane? Well --- I did take this picture in Key West, OK. And I guess that explains it, right? This guy is walking in the rain in a dress (and running shoes - how sensible) in Key West, a place which is known for its "characters." So it's OK. Either he lives there or he's on vacation, and everyone knows that on vacation we let our hair down, so to speak, and do what we feel like doing.

Why is that? I mean, why do we have to wait until we're on vacation to be ourselves and enjoy life? Imagine being true to yourself every day rather than just a few weeks out of each year.

Easy for me to say. I'm retired. I don't have to conform to a work environment. I don't have to follow rules and "fit in" just to keep a job so I can pay the bills. I remember those expectations at work, many of which had nothing to do with productivity!

Think of the pressures we put on ourselves, trying to be what others say we should be, trying to behave in certain ways, dress like everyone else and so on. Who made those rules anyway? And what was the purpose? Shouldn't we try instead to value the differences between us and appreciate our eccentricities?

And don't get me started on people who judge others by their appearance. For instance, this is a guy in a dress in the rain, and that's all we know about him. Making any other assumption is ignorant at best and could be very harmful. As the saying goes, can't we all just get along? Put more eloquently:

"The remarkable thing is that we really do love our neighbor as ourselves.... We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves." (Eric Hoffer, writer and philosopher)

What do you think?

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