Whose life is it anyway?

I had a conversation this morning with some co-workers about hunting. I support people’s right to hunt whatever is in season if they so choose. It’s legal here and it’s something many people enjoy. Great. Go freeze your butt off and hope you don’t get shot. It’s your life.

I could not imagine a situation in which I would be able to kill another living creature. If I had to do it to survive, maybe, not for sport or fun, though. We’re all just on this planet living our little lives, and that includes the flying, crawling, swimming, fuzzy things, too, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t feel that my life matters more than anyone else’s, including non-humans. It’s okay that I feel this way.

Because this is MY life.

I’m tired of folks teasing me cuz I’m not like everyone else. My supervisor thinks it’s funny that I’m freezing in my office. She’s not cold, so the fact that I am doesn’t matter. One of my officemates gives me a hard time because I don’t spend all day chatting. Mostly I sit at my desk with earbuds in, listening to podcasts and working. I have never considered work hours to be social time. He says to me a couple of times every single day, “try to keep it down over there, would you?” Ha Ha Ha Ha.

So funny! Not.

I’m over it. You be you and I’ll be me and at least one of us will be a lot happier. I get to be the way I am, and you get to be the way you are. We’re all different – it’s a feature, not a bug, as they say in the software development world – and your different is not better or worse than my different. This is a big world and there’s room for all of us and our differences.

Somehow we have become a society that believes that it’s okay to judge each other and the ways we are living our lives, even if we know very little about another person or their history. Not only do we judge, we are suddenly very vocal about it, feeling that we have the right to explain to someone else in the most strident terms the ways in which they are doing it wrong.

There have always been bullies in human society, unfortunately. People have always judged one another, I guess. Some societies are very oppressive still. America isn’t supposed to be that way, though, is it? Aren’t we all supposed to be free in the pursuit of happiness? If what I’m doing doesn’t hurt you or someone else, what makes someone think they have any need or right to criticize me? Does me being me de-legitimize you being you? No, of course not.

So…

As I’m writing this, I’m reminded of the argument I had this weekend with my mom about how hard she is to get along with. Hmmm. Because, of course, the thing that bothers you most in other people is the thing you’re doing that’s driving everyone around you crazy that you don’t realize you do! Once again, a feature of our human psyche, not a bug. 😳 Ack.

She is, of course, just who she is. It’s her life, and she gets to be who she is. High maintenance? YES. She always has been. So, challenging, but not wrong. I can rattle off a long list of ways in which I often feel she is absolutely doing it WRONG, but of course, it’s not wrong for her. She is different from me, and it’s her life.

Rats.

I think I had better start there.

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