Do you feel anxious when you use the bathroom with someone else? Are you the type to keep their shirt on at a pool party? You used your college savings to impress Kathy on a hot date? Do you cross the street to avoid that homeless dude, Al? Are you afraid of adding more salt to your mother’s frothing soup?
If you answered yes to all of these — congratulations! I write this to say; you strongly need some sense. Your spineless self may also be happy to hear, you aren’t alone — in fact, the whole world is filled with an army of self conscious, ever uptight Joes with carrots up their nether regions — they call themselves — society. You are nothing but a spitting image of good ol’ social conditioning.
Now, before you argue it’s all reasonable and scientific, Einstein — let me sit down first. Your ear-shuttering thesis probably falls in the line: we act in such a way to procure a social status; procreate with someone who can either maintain or uplift this — never demise, and start a family so that our genes stay on the brim of survival. Any faulty behaviour, say drinking late with your pals when you are student president, could ruin this. Your social devaluing will, ultimately, be the death of you.
This is completely accurate, in the sense that most people live with this mental bias; even some of the people reading this, but it’s also nonsensical — in that history decides to remember the exact opposite.
Let’s skip fifty years into your conformist lifestyle; your bones are white and dried up, and there goes Julie, your seventy year old wife, about to give an opening eulogy: Jimmy was such an incredible man. He never spoke during dinner and paid his taxes on time. He never argued with those closest to him, and never asked for a raise either. He lived a good life.
— sounds just about exciting as the detergent advert I’m watching. Will miss you, Jimmy!
I’ll go out of my way here and say, you probably should pay your taxes on time; the point lies in that there’s nothing exciting about Jimmy’s life — or Jimmy himself for that matter. He never stood for anything, never challenged the very fabric of his ambitions, and most likely, never made passionate love to his wife — I mean, thirty plus years of marriage and that’s all she could say? Jesus.
I’m not saying be a Malcolm X and burn the mall down because your maths says there’s more white than black shoppers; but I am saying free yourself from the paradigm of how to live — in whatever way is meaningful to you.
Be comfortable in a bathroom full of strangers — your body is the eighth luxurious wonder; shake it off! Take your shirt off at the pool party, or don’t. Tell Kathy you have five dollars on you right now, then kiss her hard. Give Al, the homeless dude, some warm food; tell him he’s worth so much more.
And for god’s sake, add some salt to that soup — the soup that is your frothing life.