“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
e. e. cummings
I live in a capitalist society. The economy thrives when people are robustly buying and selling, and it grinds to a halt when money is short and people start carefully counting their pennies. Since we want a healthy economy, we are encouraged to buy things we don't need just because they catch our eye, or they epitomize the fashion of the day. Advertising is aimed at all ages, from new-born babies to elders—right up to the grave. I saw an advertisement last night for funeral insurance, and I get lots of robo-calls for cemetery plots.
When I was a child, it seemed as though we never had enough. I longed for brands like Weejun and Villager and wanted to wear go-go boots and mini-skirts like everybody else. But as I have grown up, and especially since I have grown older, I find that fashion is a motorized revolving door that never stops. It's important to some, but not to me. Nowadays, I just want to be comfortable. What I put on my body in the way of clothing is to that end—comfort. In fact, if someone gives it to me, or I find it for $4.00 in a thrift store, so much the better. I'm not very good for the economy.
It takes courage to depart from societal norms. It takes an attitude of laissez-faire; of not caring what other's think of you. We can live all our lives defined by the social customs of our time, or we can get well enough acquainted with ourselves to set our own standards—to be who we really are at our most honest. We can expect to be considered slightly weird, a bit eccentric, when we do that, because it's rare for people to step outside the expectations of their own culture.
Here's what the up-side looks like—you are in possession of you. You know who you are, and are content with your own company, and that of other eccentric weirdos. There's a whole bizarre clan out there who don't subscribe to the cultural, capitalist norms! Imagine! Right here in America! If you don't like who you've become, if you're tired of trying to keep up with the Joneses—whoever they are—then join us! Grow up to be yourself. Become who you really are! All it takes is courage.
In the Spirit,