Where'd All The Good People Go?

Have you ever felt like you were being torn in two directions?
Maybe you are at a crossroads between two job decisions, two choices of university or some other life changing factor?
Or maybe its deeper, maybe its so deep, maybe sometimes you feel as though you are torn between the person you are and the person that others perceive you to be or expect you to be?

The older we get the wiser we get or so its been said.  It does makes sense though, in fact it makes so much sense.  We get older, we learn more, we experience more - therefore we are wiser.

I do believe we go through phases though and that the definition of wise can be interpreted in many ways.  Intelligence could be measured by SAT scores, GPAs, general knowledge, street smarts, knowledge of trivial facts, of science, of math, of art, et cetera.  Regardless, the older we get, the longer we have lived, the more we know.

From what I have gathered over my 25.8 years of life is that the most important thing to do is to be true to yourself.

I have never placed judgment on anyone or disliked a person without reason.  To me, everyone is a friend until something occurs which would cause me to view them otherwise.  Ben Harper says it best,

Your choice is who you choose to be and if you're causing no harm then you're alright with me.
I had never experienced any sort of negative judgment against myself until I went to college.  To a lot of my friends that I made at my university, I was the first Jewish person they had ever met.  While most were accepting and some even positively inquisitive, others were quick to dismiss me.  One of my friends was even asked where her horns were!  My freshman year was also the first time I realized the negative connotation that was associated with being from Long Island. There is a stereotype that I was not aware of and even to this day, people that I meet that I think are above stereotypes and completely free spirited judge me. 
Not everyone from Long Island is a JAP or spoiled or self centered. Just as not everyone from Boston is pretentious or not everyone from the mid west lives on a farm.

I realized that when it comes to me and my life experiences its appears that people judge privilege.  They judge what they don't understand. 

I went to Israel two summers ago and a guy on my trip made me cry on the third day.  He saw me in the airport on the first day, sized me up with his eyes, saw what I was wearing and decided I was not worth getting to know.  He said horrible things to me and has since apologized and retracted all that he said and we are good friends now but it still hurts to think back to that day.

Sometimes I find myself lying or leaving certain details out when asked about my job or where I am from. Or, when I know I will be hanging out with certain people I will switch to a different purse or put on a different watch.  Tonight at dinner my friend J said to me,
You should never apologize for who you are or for the things you have been fortunate enough to obtain.  If someone doesn't take the time to get to know you than that is 100% their loss.
 Have I mentioned that I love this guy??

It just seems so ludicrous to me, so ludicrous that I find the need to describe it as preposterous that there are some people, some very well educated people that define people on the sole basis of materialism.  Even the least materialistic people I know judge others on materialism. 

Why must we conform? Why must we be confined to one specific box??

Wild Child was here visiting New York a few weeks ago. With her, she brought me a card.  Wild Child has always had a special knack for picking out cards that say the most appropriate things.  The card she bought for me says on the cover:

There Is No Equal To You
 and inside, part of what she wrote to me says:

One of the main reasons I love you is your ability to wear many hats - and wear them well.  Blogger, spaz, hippie, JAP, philosopher, music junkie, sexual deviant...I could go on.
Wild Child is one of the few people that truly gets me and that has a lot to do with why she is my hero.  I have friends that I have known for most of my life, very close friends, that still don't get me at all.  Some have even said,

You have a tattoo? You just don't seem the type?
My first reaction is always to ask what the "type" is of a person who would get a tattoo. But instead I say that yes, not only do I have a tattoo, but I have four.  If I am not the type who gets them, then how do you explain it?

Why does our society make it so that we have to be one certain way?  Why do we have to be either a Democrat or a Republican?  Why do we have to be a JAP or a hipster or a prep or any other title?  And why, once a title is placed on us must we conform to the statutes and limits that stereotypically define said group? 

Why can't someone support gay marriage and anti abortion?  Or dress only in Prada but also like to get stoned at Phish shows?  Or be an owner of a major corporation and like to play video games?  Or be a professional athlete yet also likes to discuss philosophy over whiskey at NYC speakeasies?

Don't answer "of course they can" without considering if you have truly given everyone you have met a fair chance.

I took a business meeting a few months back and the guy I was meeting with asked me what kind of music I liked.  I responded that I am not a fan of one particular genre of music, but rather, I like music that when I listen to it it either evokes some kind of true emotion inside of me or it makes me - a non dancer - want to dance my ass off. As an artist, he respected this answer.  Others do not, most others do not.

I just realized that it is after 1am and I should go to bed.  So dear readers I leave you with this:

Jack Johnson wrote a song titled "Good People."  In it he says,

Whatever you say. Turn on the boob tube, I'm in the mood to obey. So lead me astray. By the way now, where'd all the good people go?
 Going, going, gone...

No comments:

Post a Comment