the lost man chronicles
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Why not?

Individuals are ever-evolving.

As a result, we are often faced with the dilemma of choosing between satisfying our simple needs and ourselves—and that of society, the community, and everyone else.

Sometimes something suits us quite well, and for a while it becomes who we are and who we project ourselves to be.

But occasionally, if not often, our circumstances and tastes change, so that the trademark gesture or outfit or manner of speech that identifies us as individuals no longer befits who we are becoming and care to be.

The problem becomes that others expect consistency. Thus, we are pressured to stick to precedent, to maintain what we ourselves may have fashioned into the status quo.

This is especially true when it concerns our values, beliefs and commitments. God forbid you change your mind!

Alas, it happens all the time and we get stuck in the middle of the undertows that pull us apart. And even if our alterations do not qualify as whimsy, we often still face the peril of “Why?”

Oh, how wonderful it would be if we could satisfactorily answer earnestly, “Why not?” and get on with it—to move on to enjoy whatever it is we have chosen or revived or contrived anew.

Perhaps, more difficult to contend than the undulating inclinations themselves, is the application of what we would like to call our own, that which we have created alone and which distinguishes us by its rendering.

Sometimes even the most innocuous things are bitterly contended or rallied against by others because it does not conform to the way “everyone else”, perceives or believes or concedes that we should all uniformly behave. Sometimes it is as frivolous as fashion, a minute personal touch that raises eyebrows and spurs some to knee-jerk in response, “You know, that’s not how you wear it…”

And other times it takes a more austere matter, such as tradition or conditioned behavior that generally most of us follow blindly.

Take eating for instance. I have found that dinner after six or even supper itself is not all that suitable to my constitution during the evening hours. So, occasionally I skip it, and oh how wonderful this fast makes me feel in the morning.

Alas, foregoing this standard repast is contrary to the standard overindulgent American lifestyle. It is not suitable to being social as well. Evening plans inevitably include dinner, drinks and dessert, cumulatively all of which make me reel the consequences of gluttony.

And one must participate in these rituals of amity if one wants to have friends. Otherwise, your personal austerity might offend and provoke a barrage of nauseating comments and questions that must be answered by the litany of consoling excuses (white lies)— “What? You’re not eating? Are you on a diet? You’ve got to eat something. It’s so unsociable. If you didn’t like the food you should have said something. Oh, its his latest thing you know. You’re so slim, what are you worried about?”

And you think to yourself, “Okay, okay, jezuz krist! I’ll eat something if it will console your guilt and self-consciousness. Just kindly shut the fuck up now, please.”

Despite the torment though, sticking to your guns, persevering in your own way, usually pays off handsomely. Ultimately, you feel great about being true to yourself and acting upon what makes you happy. Moreover, people either come to accept your so-called quirks and idiosyncrasies and either end up feeling envy, begin to follow your example or just write you off as an eccentric.

Using the latter example, hypothetically one who is disciplined and eats well as well as less might consequentially lose weight, feel healthier, be noticed for their svelte, emanate a sanguine glow and dress smarter to befit their trimming…the slew of compliments which ensue only reinforce the fact that they did the right thing—listening to oneself even at the expense of others chagrin.

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