As I was deciding the angle I wanted to take for this week’s #SpreadTheKindness post, I stumbled upon a Facebook status of a friend which said this:
The shit that I’m passionate about is not dumb.
And then it hit me what I needed to write about today in an effort to continue spreading kindness in this crazy world. We all have things that we are passionate about. Each and every one of us is unique in the combination of our different passions. Some are passionate about music. Some sports and exercise and healthy eating. Some clothing and fashion. Others are passionate about art, books, and crafting. There are people who are passionate about gardening, bird watching, traveling, cooking, religion, politics, fishing, and hunting. And also writing, movies, dancing, yoga, and video games. I could list a million more, but I think you get the idea. All of these things are simply examples of self-expression. And no one is judging any of it, I’m sure.
But guess what? There are a lot of people who are quite passionate about other things that may not be as mainstream. There are people who are passionate about tattoos and body piercings. Some who passionately and religiously attend comic and anime conventions. Others who create art and write poetry that may be considered dark or disturbing. There are even communities of people who engage in very alternative sexual lifestyles from swingers to bondage enthusiasts to those who participate in furry fandom. Now I feel the judgments starting to rear their ugly heads.
Why? Why do we judge people based on the things that they are passionate about? If it has no effect on you and is causing no harm, then what business of yours is it to pass judgment? Just because we don’t all share common interests, does not give us free reign to criticize and judge others. Our passions are a huge part of our personalities. They make us who we are. They contribute to the fabulous, the fun, the interesting, the intriguing aspects of our selves that make people want to get to know us better. Because of our varying interests, this world is an amazing and unique place filled with endless possibilities. And that is a beautiful thing, in my humble opinion.
Throughout our lives, as we grow and change, the things that we are passionate about may also change. Oftentimes, the opposite is true. We may remain passionate about the same things throughout our entire lives. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Some may consider certain passions to be juvenile and hence, interests that we should abandon in our mature years. But why? Why deprive ourselves of the things that make us the happiest, the things that make us feel like our true and genuine selves? That’s just silly.
For example, when I was younger I was supremely passionate about my sport of competitive swimming which transitioned into a passion for coaching younger generations of swimmers. Then suddenly one day, after spending over half of my life with this passion at the forefront, I found myself completely and totally over it. The smell of chlorine can actually turn my stomach these days. I also used to be a voracious reader, devouring in excess of 100 books per year. I can’t even tell you the last time I read a book from cover to cover. It just doesn’t provide me with what I need right now. But if I continued nurturing these passions into midlife, no one would judge me at all.
Another example is how we dress and how we present ourselves visually to the world. This is all part of our self-expression. And it should be met with nothing less than respect and appreciation. There was a time not so long ago that I wouldn’t have dared to wear an outfit like the one here. Knee high socks with a short dress, looking all like a school girl? And in my 40’s nonetheless? How dare I dress in such a juvenile way in thess mature years of my life? To that I say, Hogwash! I will dress however I damn well please. Are you judging me yet? Probably not. Because I am not completely outside of the realm of mainstream expectations…I’m just walking the line. And somehow that is still acceptable to most.
So why are we judging others? You know who I mean. The fabulously creative people who are covered in tattoos and body piercings. The gorgeously intriguing ones who dress all in black from head to toe. (I recently met a 65 year old woman who bought her clothes exclusively from Hot Topic. And she was simply fabulous!) The amazingly unique ones who wear anime and comic costumes, creating their looks with skill and an attention to detail that many “mainstreamers” lack completely.
Tattoos and body piercings, comic and anime conventions, dressing up to engage in whatever activities fuel your passions, and creating the costumes and accessories that support all of the aforementioned activities, are simply passions of self-expression. And just because they do not meet the societal norms of what acceptable hobbies and activities look like does not make them wrong or weird. And it most certainly does not classify them as dumb. Quite the opposite actually. When you see what you consider weird, you are more likely than not witnessing creative genius with your very own eyes.
So the next time you pass by someone whom you may consider a freak or a weirdo and you feel compelled to whisper under your breath Why is that person dressed that way? I challenge you to stop before those horrendously judgmental words leave your lips. Stop and look again. Don’t see the weird, but rather look for the creative genius in it. I promise you will see it because it is right there at the surface staring you in the face. You just need to look past your own judgments to find it. And then maybe even take it one step further and deliver a compliment. This, my friends, is how we keep kindness alive in this mean and judging world.
And now your favorites from last week.
And Jaymie of Shopping Your Closet with Jaymie Ashcraft shared her post Cheers to Denim. How cute is she in her denim jacket and always accessorized with her signature glass of red wine and her ever-so-lovely smile?
Have fun linking! And remember to drop the judgments and spread the kindness!
Keeping it on the edge,
Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.