Jun 25, 2012

Why It's All About You

Feeling insignificant is one of the most common feelings in the world. Feeling like nothing you say and nothing you do matter to anyone (or maybe only the closest people to you, like your closest family, your partner or your best friends), feeling so small, so invisible, so insignificant, you stand powerless in the middle of your own life, or the big space where all the lives around you collide, losing sight of your own life because that seems so small too, and you feel vulnerable, defenseless, powerless. If you die, who would remember you? This drives many to seek fame, enduring the troubles that come with it, or pull them to a life of constant deception and unfulfillment. Others try to make sure they will be remembered, by making a family, and thus outlive their deaths through their descendence.

In this condition, feeling so gray, so invisible, so irremediably eluded by attention, it's hard to believe that anything is about us, or that the company's record "your call is important to us" hold any truth. If you feel so, you've probably are one of the "lucky ones" that have kept to the social program, and have acted always on schedule, wanting what you are supposed to want, acting as you are supposed to act, saying what you are supposed to say and thinking as you are supposed to think. You, invisible dot invisible in the great, homogenous mass, are a successful product of the society. Things change when you are not like "the rest" even if there are thousands and thousands of people exactly like you. Things change if you are a colored dot.

In today's society, (as it has probably been for a long, long time ago, since the begining of history, probably), each time someone doesn't follow the program, gets attacked by the program and the rest of the elements in it. Whatever it is you stick out with, such a thing becomes a crime, and you are labeled several things ranging from immature, selfish to freak and antinatural. It's pretty bad when you are held guilty for things that belong to your nature and that hurt nobody at all, such as being gay, or being black/white/red/yellow, or having been born on this or that country, even for being born woman (in some cases, in others society has evolved somewhat); however, I consider the harrassing for your choices still the worse of all.

When you are born gay, just to give you an example, there's nothing you can do to change that fact. It's like being born Latin. There are "churches" that swear they can convert you and pull "the devil out of you", but they might - at best - simply repress you, but never change you. They can't change a gay person into a straight person as much as a straight person can't be changed into a gay person, or as much as a black person can't be changed white or viceversa (except Michael Jackson, but that's another story). It's hard, it's horrible, but slowly people are learning to understand that nothing changes nature. What's harder for people to understand are when you stick out for your choices.

You stick out if you choose not to marry, you stick out if you choose not to have kids, you stick out if you choose to abort your child, you stick out if you choose not to follow the "civilized" way of life, but rather live in communion with nature and grow your own food and weave and sew your own clothes. Whatever your choice is, if it doesn't fit the "get a job, marry, have kids, honor the culture and society you live in" scheme, then you are a selfish, immature shame to your community and you need to correct your ways.

Those taking such decisions are often called selfish because they deny others of something. This is particularly thrown at the head of people choosing to be childfree or aborting. Say you are childfree and you decided that's the way you want to live your life. You probably then have been said more times than you care to remember, that "What about your partner? Are you going to deny him/her the pleasure of having children?". Yes, very distasteful, arrogant, uninvited, unconsidered words. Aside from eliminating any chance for your own feelings and choices to be of any importance even to yourself, and aside from the fact that you may not have been as unconsiderate as to say "you plan on having another child? Why? Couldn't get enough fucking up the first one?", there's the fact that these sort of comments center the whole universe around you in a negative way.

So, just because you don't want to commit, and rather keep an open relationship (or several), or maybe prefer casual encounters, now you personally deny every single person you sleep with the chance to get married and have kids? Or just because you personally don't want to have kids, you are denying your partner - if he or she ever decides that they can't live another second without a kid - with someone else? Even a marriage can be broken, if one day one partner decides that children are important to them, no matter what, and the other hasn't changed it's mind. You are not the only semen-shooting-penis in town, or the last fertile-womb in the world. Also, just because you decided to abort your child, whatever is your reason, you are not becoming a killer (radical Catholics think that using anticonceptives are equal to murdering unborn children), nor make you irresponsible for taking a decision that probably is already hard on you.

Back in 1996 I met a girl, who was going to get her second abortion. That child and the first was from her longtime boyfriend. They lived together, loved each other and wanted to get married and have a family. They both worked, but their incomes were so low they knew there was no way they could support their child. So, with much pain, they decided to abort it. She knew she wouldn't be able to give the child in adoption, knowing that out there there's a child thinking that their parents didn't love them, because she did, but neither her nor her boyfriend kid themselves about their real chances to support a family. It wasn't rape, it wasn't a life threatening pregnancy, not even a one night stand or a child with severe health problems, it was a very respectable, rational decision. A decision made precisely for the child, since as you must know, poverty isn't as romantic as in the novels, nor a child is happy when it has to be all day long in daycare and see their parents pick them up, tired and worn, to get home and sleep.

The world isn't indeed about you, except when you fall off the wagon. The acusations and arguments held the power of bullying, not the power of argument. No matter the words used, the biggest flaw in their reasoning is always why do they mind the personal decisions of other people. Why is your coworker or friend so involved in your decision to leave your job, sell your house and go live in a farm, where you can make sure that the milk you drink and the veggies you eat are really organic? Why  is so important to them whether you want to have children or not? Whether you will keep your child or not? Whether you'll ever marry or not?

Do you get a say on who they marry and why? Do you get a say on how many children they get and when? Do you get a say on what job shall they pursue and which staples shall the buy? Then why do they feel so entitled to get a say about your life?

Your environment feels entitled to criticise the way you dress and how much you weight, whether you are anorexic thin, as you are expected, or if you have healthy, round curves. If your hair is short or long, dyed or peppered with grayhairs, if your mobile is new or old. Come one, have you noticed how you feel pressured to give an excuse if your mobile is anything less than an iPhone? So what if your ten years old Nokia still works? Or if you choose a phone that really does only the basic, which is "voice call"? Will the rest try to use the Internet on your phone, or read their newspapers? Then what's wrong with a phone that can't even send and SMS - if there are still such?

If your life, your choices and nobody should have a say about that. Except they seem to do. What can we do to stop that?

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