At one point I replied to him, "I think people should do what they want." I think. Mostly. Because I believe people are inherently good. I believe people know somewhere deep in their hearts and minds what 'good' is, how to do good in the world, and ultimately that doing good brings joy into their lives. In the end, people want joy for the long-term. So if people want joy, then people should do what they want. One of my favorite quotes by Abraham Lincoln--"When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion." Just do what you believe to be good. As long as you are honest.
When I do as I want, my mind is clear. I am in a present frame of mind. I act. I speak honestly. I am happy. Those around me are happy. blah blah blah blah blah.
When I do not as I want, I am sad. My mind is riddled with worries of the past and future. I underachieve. I try to please people despite my needs, which then ends in displeasure to those people whom I was trying to please. And it might end well in the short-term, but I think we can only lie to ourselves for so long a time until it takes a toll on us. I think when you act, it must root from an honest place or else it will not bring you genuine joy. (Disclaimer: sometimes we do not always know from where we act, and I believe that is okay as long as you learn later).
After explaining all that to my brother, he said something that struck me. "You place too much faith in people."
How much faith is too much faith? I think the world's people could do with a little more faith in themselves and others. I had a grade school teacher that started all of his classes by saying something along the lines of 'you all have my respect until you do something to lose it.' When someone puts that much faith in you, the average person tends to live up to it. When someone has no faith in you, the average person will live down to it. Not having faith in someone is like saying, "I don't think you are good enough." And when you have such a defeatist attitude, why should anyone want to even try to prove you wrong if not out of stubbornness? I got better shit to do than waste my time trying to convince someone I'm good enough for them.
Sure, I've gotten into a lot of trouble with my faith in humanity. I've been hurt before. I've looked like a fool before. I've been embarrassed before. And I hope to continue on that path, because my faith in humanity has also brought a lot of beautiful, incredible people into my life--great people that have taught me lessons and helped me grow into myself.
"Every flower got a right to be bloomin'
All the freaky people make the beauty of the world."
--Michael Franti....You simply must listen to this song
I guess for now I'm pretty content bein freaky. It's a beautiful world out there with lots of people that are all beautiful in their own ways. Every flower's got a right to be bloomin, every human's got a right to be human. If you are interested in real stories of real people, I find The Moth podcast to be really refreshing. It brings me back down to Earth every morning over coffee.
Stay human. You are enough in my eyes.