Polonius: This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!
Laertes: Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
I am forty-one now, an age accompanied by a basic presumption, which states: You are mature enough to accept the not-having of certain wants. Ok, perhaps this is true, but acceptance comes on two levels, the intellectual and the emotional.
I understand certain items may prove unattainable regardless of wealth, will and crime. To wit: a family heirloom, a married woman, a Pulitzer prize. But my understanding is intellectual in nature, the logical flow of fact – the cause and effect-ish thing – that suggests these things are beyond my scope. FINE!
But too, there is the emotional issue. Flailing one’s limbs about like an angry chimp and squealing the way your average soon-to-be-slaughtered pig does on his way to the big house, are NOT signs of emotional acceptance. And yet, can we really say they are wrong. I have always been true to myself, expressed my inner truth, avoided fraudulence in some meager attempt to appease the masses. Thus, if I adhere to my principles, I am going to rant and scream and flail in Kubrick-ian fashion. And frankly, I see no problem with that. Here is why:
I am prejudiced. You read that properly. I can’t help it. I had some experiences in my youth, which biased me against certain classes, and creeds of people. And so I get those feelings when I see those types of people, feelings which are now part of my limbic system, protecting me like my fight or flight response, and genetically wired into my DNA in a way that ol’ Chuck Darwin would appreciate. However, my intellectual maturity stops me from acting upon those biases – otherwise you might as well stop reading and send me off for some pretty intensive therapy – and I travel life’s path like a quality social member.
I guess my point here is that, these days, there seem to be a lot of people telling us how to feel and act and think and maybe it’s time we go inside and listen to ourselves for a while before deciding what to feel and do and say. Maybe if we really feel something, we should just say it, instead of worrying so much about offending someone. Because, in the end, if we aren’t true to ourselves, how are we supposed to help anyone else?