Ya gotta be who you are. That was the cry of the late 20th Century, and remains so today. I’ve expressed those sentiments myself, right on these pages.
I suppose we all might agree that if you are an ax murderer, you should at least think about changing. I know we all gotta be who we all gotta be, but that’s pretty rough on the people around you. Thankfully, there really aren’t all that many ax murderers.
There are a lot of quiet people in the world, and there are a lot of talkers as well. Hopefully, we can all agree that it is okay to be quiet, or to be chatty. Either way, we have the right to be who we are.
Some people move fast. Everything they do is in a hurry. That’s who they are. They have a right to move fast if they want to. Some people move kind of slow. It’s okay to move slow. Right? Likely, the only people who care if they move slow, are the people who move fast. Of course, I’ve noticed in life, that people who move slow, tend to get angered at those who move fast as well.
Now I’ve always been someone who likes to move fast. At least until recently. I now seem to be among those who move a little slow. I guess that means I am the perfect person to decide this dilemma. I’ve decided that it’s all right to move fast or slow. You gotta be you.
Now I have known people who like to wear big floppy hats, and I will stand up for their right to wear those big floppy hats. We need to tell everybody, that they have every right to wear big floppy hats. They gotta be who they are. In fact, they should probably enact a lobby group and begin protests, to support people who wear big floppy hats. Then they should insist on legislation to protect them. In fact, from this day forward, anybody who says anything bad about people who wear big floppy hats, will be arrested. If they persist to trample on the rights of the BFH people, they will be charged with a hate crime. Nobody ever, should tell the big floppy hat people that they cannot wear…well…big floppy hats. Wait, you say they wear the big floppy hats while they are in the movies? The people in back of them have their view blocked. Hmmmm! I suppose there could be some minor limits to what the BFH people can do, or can expect. I guess it is possible, that those who are not BFH people also have rights.
Suppose you are somebody who likes to scratch yourself in public. Now understand, you do not scratch the people around you, just yourself. I guess you have that right. It is rather disconcerting to the world around you, but so what. You gotta be you. You frequently scratch yourself in places (on your body) I cannot talk about here. You do so while you are among all sorts of people. People are complaining, but you gotta be who you gotta be. I mean, you feel like scratching yourself right? So does the rest of the world, have the right to say stop that, you are around other people? You are not alone. Hmmm, is it possible that there are some limits in being who you are? That society has some small say in what you do, and how you do it, if it affects the rights of others? I doubt any of us care, if this person scratches themselves in the privacy of their own home. Of course, he/she might live with others. Darn, this is getting complicated.
We come in a variety of personalities, sizes and shapes, and in a rainbow of colors. We are blessed by those facts, but that is not the end of the story.
For 20 or 30 years now, we have been teaching our children, that they’ve got to be themselves. I agree, they do. It does seem however, that there just might be more to it than that. None of us can righteously do whatever we want, whenever we want, and get whatever we want. It is never just about us. We cannot burn the city (metaphorically speaking….maybe) in childish anger, just because something has happened that lets us know, that it is not all about us. Just because you can fight for your rights, does not mean that you are indeed, always right.
To be or not to be, should be a matter of conscience, taste, timing and common sense. Now if we could just fine someone to teach those traits. Who’s going to teach the teachers.
On a previous post (maybe 2 years ago) I went into some detail about all of the business cards, letterheads, brochures, and especially model and property releases I still had possession of, from previous photography business names, and from the businesses of commercial and stock photography. Well for 7 years now, I have been using those model and property releases as scrap paper to make notations on, when I work at the computer. I write at least a few things down, every single day. I still have not run out of those releases. I am beginning to think they might outlast me.
It’s funny how what’s important one day, can be scrap the next.
That’s why I’ve always tried to make sure ( I’ve often failed), to never “sell my soul” for something that looks or feels good today. Tomorrow’s another day.
Was it the Eagles (the band) that sang, “when you look up at the sky at night, you can see the stars and still not see the light”?
Seasons come and seasons go.
As America “greens up” in June, creating great opportunities for photographers, there are some stubborn lands that refuse to join that chorus. They have to be themselves, and I am thankful. They live defiantly in a state of sand and sky.
It’s the rhythm of the sand that leads us to the freedom of the sky.