A while back I wrote a few posts on people assuming digital identities and from the safety of home, acting out in ways which were totally unlike their actual self. Lately, I have been concerned with another issue. This has to do with the way in which people are approaching real life, actual reality as if they were playing a part in a play or a movie.
In truth, I see this more as an issue on University campuses and at political rallies than anything I see happening in regular day-to-day life. And I have to admit, I only allow the relatively sane people to stay in my life in any meaningful way. If any of my extended Family were to start acting in the way we will be looking at here, I would give them one warning to knock it off, or they would have to go away.
There are people who are play-acting their entire life. They choose an ism and run with it. They are not trying to make the world better, they are trying to get attention through posturing their way through each day as a caricature of a character. Not really believing what they profess, they instead act the way they think a person would act if they truly believed these things. This is the only explanation I can come up with for the truly bizarre behavior of our society. These behaviors are not doing any good and they jeopardize your own safety.
Healthy well-adjusted people don’t show up at businesses with protest signs over non-issues, or drive cars into crowds of people over politics, or smash windows and burn cars over an election outcome, or become suddenly upset over statues that have been in the same spot for a hundred years, or advocate genocide, or build entire worldviews around conspiracy theories.
The entire concept of finding your identity through a social cause is strange to me. I have no issue with believing in things and wanting a better world. I want a better world too. But keeping things in perspective allows me to stay sane. There are things that are under my control, things that I can influence, and things that are beyond my control. This understanding lets me not act like a lunatic every time that I don’t get my way.
Having priorities helps too. I have a Family that I need to provide for, so that means I have to fulfill my work obligations first. Maybe I really think it is wrong that the bakery across the street specializes in a custard made with real platypus eggs and platypus milk, and while I am extremely curious as to how that custard would taste, I think it is just wrong. And I feel obligated to protest that store and drive him out of business, but I have to go to work.
My job is how I feed my Family. In all honesty, I find my identity, my self-actualization, who I really am, in my Family. I don’t need a cause. And I think that if these full-time protesters were ever to reassess their priorities, they might find a life that is pretty awesome. I can promise that if they never take a good look at their priorities, they will have a lot of regrets in their later years.
It is really important to allow yourself to be happy. And it is wonderful to know when you are happy. There are enough people in the world looking for something to be mad about. Such people will never find joy in life until they get past that mindset. A good starting point is to be nice to people. This will make those around you happier, and you will find yourself becoming happy as well.
Life is short, and the ride gets rocky often enough without adding to the problems everyone has to face. Anytime that the option is available, be nice.