June 16, 2018
I write most when something is troubling me, or when I’m stuck on something. I feel the need to know why. Always, I want to know why. Knowing only helps if there is a second step. And it is only satisfactory, if the next step is. Some problems have no answers. Or they do, but they aren’t pleasant answers. Some second steps hurt. Many first steps are not socially acceptable. My words are vague and meaningless unless they are not. Unless you have done something either you regret, or you feel like you should regret. I can’t do this. I used to say- believe even- that everything I did in life, I should be able to share with my parents. I believed that if I wasn’t willing to do that, it must have been the wrong choice. My friends in college scoffed at that but let me live in my delusion. I know now there is no set manual that decides what is right or wrong. The definitions of those words are not fixed. Every language, culture, and individual have a different meaning for those words. Therefore, anything I do can be right or wrong in my mind. My society and culture I live in is only a guide and pressure. Some cultures eat humans, others painfully realign, usually children’s teeth, with wires and rubber bands. Braces or cannibalism, right or wrong, there is no consensus.
So, if anything can be wrong and anything can be right, how do I decide? Usually, it depends on my mood. Some days I feel like everything is my fault. Other days, it’s the world out to get me and I can do no wrong. I hate that. So, how have I never gone to detention or court? I, generally, follow the leader, like the little monkey I am. My last post, Need or Want?, gives several examples of times when I blindly followed other’s guidance in my life. It’s difficult not to. And this is where I start quoting myself. Or, more like, continue referencing myself. In my The Time Jumps, Time Pools, and Normalcy post, I explained that normal is what the society we live in creates to be labeled as normal. Anything can be normal, if enough people do it. Along the same train of thought, anything can be good or bad, depending on those around us.
We all do “bad” things. At least once. Just as we have all done at least one “good” thing in our lives. Maybe I’ll expand on that in a future post. Why and how children learn to favor “good” or “bad” behavior. Condensed version of that is that some kids, like me, learn that people smile at you and let you eat a cookie before dinner if you ask nicely; while other kids, would rather just take the cookie when no one is watching. Learned behavior. The labels of good and bad are also learned.
Lesson here, the label varies. One’s reasons and views on events fluctuate. Humans do things that go against their intentions. I used to have good intentions. Then I allowed my wants to overpower my morals. Now, I return to my blind morals. I don’t know if blindly following protocol is better than allowing myself to do what I want when that want is against societal approval. Society is oftentimes wrong. Have you heard any nutrition news lately? A large percent is convoluted! I’d know, as a nutrition dietetics intern. Anyway, society does not only have the potential to be wrong, it often is. The label does not matter. What matters to me matters to me.
If my choice ruins friendships, that’s fine. Granted, that I am okay with ruining said friendships. All choices have consequences and reasons or, at the very least, rationalizations. It really doesn’t matter what I do with my life. So, why am I following society? Guilt? I’ve felt guilt, without a hair of doubt, once in my life. This doesn’t feel remotely like that. This feels numb and rational. I don’t know what I am doing. But it doesn’t matter anyway. I can convince myself it was the right thing to do, no matter what I do.