I’ve made friends and acquaintances with a variety of people in my life, as I’m sure you have, too. Some of them own guns, some have gardens, some look like me and some don’t. I have friends who enjoy a polyamorous lifestyle and others who can’t fathom the possibility. I have friends considered financially well off, and others who struggle to get by. I could continue but I think you get it.
The people in my life come in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Despite how different they all are from each other, they’re all wonderful in their own ways.
Why do people care so much about what everyone else is doing, when their choices don’t impact anyone else’s life? Why do we make someone else’s life our business? And what gives us the privilege of dictating the lives of others?
There’s More than One “Right” Way to Live
The only subjects with non-negotiable answers are math and science. Everything else is fluid. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from having an eclectic group of friends, it’s there’s no single way to live life — and that makes life exciting.
We live as though our world is black and white, when the truth is, our world is made from every shade of color we know— including ones we haven’t discovered yet, and can’t possibly hope to see with our human eyes.
Each and every one of us has our very own lives. We were all taught the beliefs and lessons of the people who raised us. We made friends who expanded our sense of what the world is and, as we’ve continued to age, we develop our own beliefs about what it means to be alive. While sometimes similar, none of our lives are exactly the same.
To put it another way — there are over seven billion definitions of what life means and how to live it. How can any single version be the “right” one?
I suppose it’s a question we’ve been asking since the dawn of Mankind. Every country on Earth has gone to war over the right to live — if you’re curious, the first documented war dates back to 2700 BCE in Mesopotamia. That’s what war is — trying to dictate how other societies live, or in defending independence.
War is just one example. Religion is another, but so is racism, sexism, and any other “-ism.” Most of these battles aren’t fought on a battlefield anymore, but at work, in public parks, even in the front yards of homes. Borders may be currently decided, but the battle for power rages on within. It’s almost like we can’t help it — maybe we can’t.
We’re animalistic in nature and haven’t lost our need to assert dominance because we still need it. Except, we no longer direct it toward animal predators, but each other.
There’s no rule stating there’s one right way to live your life. Continued domination isn’t sustainable. We can’t continue raging at each other for supremacy. We’ve seen what it leads to. We’ve been down this road several times already.
How about we attempt something else? For instance, we could try letting people live their lives.
Now hold on, before you jump down my throat, let me ask a question.
How does it impact you personally, if your neighbor two doors down can fall in love with men and women? The answer — it doesn’t. How does the skin color of another person impact your life? The answer — it doesn’t.
Harry Styles was a topic of hot discussion recently when the singer wore a gown for the cover of Vogue magazine. It seems everyone has an opinion about it. My question is, why does it matter that Harry has a different taste in clothes than you? That’s right — it doesn’t.
Unless the way someone chooses to live involves harming others, let’s just leave them alone to live their life the way the choose.
We’re living through an interesting time right now. On the one hand, we’re trying to claw our way out from under the “don’t ask questions” way of life passed down to us from previous generations.
But now, we’re sliding into a dangerous area where we’ve rebelled so much, any variation from the norm incites defensive arguments.
The thing is, we continue to evolve every day of our lives. An article written by Nicolas Toni, the assistant professor at the Department of Fundamental Neurosciences at the University of Lausanne, says we create 1500 new neurons in our brains every day!
While society continues to shift and events change our lives — so too, do our beliefs, opinions, and judgments. Self-awareness goes beyond a single moment of reflection, it needs to be done regularly.
At some point in your young life, you probably believed in Santa Claus. Then, at another point in your life, you probably came to change that belief. It might seem like a silly comparison but is it really? You could have clung to your belief, but instead, you considered the possibility that maybe Santa isn’t real and ultimately changed your mind. So why can’t you do that now?
I want to make it clear that I’m not advocating for everyone to run wild and do whatever they want. But unless someone is causing harm to you or others, doesn’t it make more sense to just let them live their life? Aren’t you exhausted from being offended all the time about things that don’t impact you at all?
Every moment of every day you have the choice about how to live your life. If your way of living works for you, then keep doing it. Who am I to tell you how to live? And who are you to tell me?