Friday, July 26, 2013

I Gotta Be Me!: An Addendum

Instead of explaining the purpose of this addendum--which is the same as all the others--I'm just going to dive right in.  I will say that these points do tie in with each other a bit; so much so, I don't know where to start...but I have to begin somewhere!

First off: The actions of a few people should not ruin things for others.  When I was a sophomore in high school, we had a lunchtime basketball tournament that went exceedingly well.  Not being a sportsman myself, I didn't participate, but I had friends and classmates who did, and they seemed to have a blast.  It only made sense that they would attempt to do the same thing again next year; however, it got stopped almost as soon as it started.  What happened? During the first lunch period on the first day of the tournament, some unfortunate individual(s) went into the locker room and made off with the personal belongings of the people who were playing.  Between lunches, it was announced over the school's intercom that, after what happened, the tournament was canceled.  Many people, including some teachers, were rather dismayed by the school's decision.  My math teacher that year, who tended to talk to us rather frankly about...well, everything, wondered why they didn't simply post security in the locker rooms instead of ending the tournament completely.  As far as I know, my high school hasn't done such a thing since.

Unfortunately, it seems that, more often than not, that's the case.  When a privilege is given to a group of people, it usually happens that some people misuse it, which causes limits to the privilege to everyone who has it.  I'm sure most if not all of you have seen similar cases.  How does that apply to being me? Simple: The number of people who don't approve of me being me is paltry when compared to the people who like/love me just as I am.  Though I have been "unfriended" on Facebook quite a few times, not all of my ended friendships happened because of my eccentric tastes.  True, I did mess up quite a few times, but the people who "removed" me because of those flubs weren't the least bit bothered by my penchant for bargain hunting and Disney sitcoms.  As for those who did do it because of my "different" likes: I can't worry about them.  I'm not going to spend my time changing who I am just because Mouthy, Immature, and Overgrown Seventh Grader won't stop telling me I "need" to do so.  No one, other than my parents and God, has any right to do that.

Second off: It's not my fault if I happen to be "incompatible" with some people.  Back in 1999, my mom purchased a Grape iMac, which happened to be our second Mac.  Before we got it, though, she bought a book called Teach Yourself the iMac in 24 Hours, written by Mac guru Gene Steinberg.  Each of the twenty-four chapters--or "hours"--discussed a feature that Apple's stylish new computers had, ranging from the built-in fax modem to the ever-present QuickTime, and ended with a "Q & A," which had questions readers were likely asking.  In the chapter on the iMac's text-to-speech function, one of the questions in the Q & A was, "I tried installing Apple's speech recognition feature, and it wouldn't work.  What am I doing wrong?" (For those who don't know, a "speech recognition" program allows you to control your computer by actually talking to it.)  Mr. Steinberg's reply was, "I'm glad to tell you that you're not doing anything wrong.  You encountered the same problem I did when I first started writing this chapter." He went on to say that the iMac lacked the capability to record sounds at the frequency that would be required for such software to work.  In short: It wasn't the user's fault; it was a flaw in the device itself.

Many times, I think others' "problems" with me and my way are just the same: I'm not doing anything wrong; it's the fact that "those people" won't accept me for who I am.  Sometimes, they flay with the cruelest of whips; last fall, I met a co-ed group of college students, and proceeded to add each one of them--yes, including the guys!--as friends on Facebook.  Afterwards, I was devastated when every single one of them either denied my request or kept it pending.  Out of all of those kids, not a single one even wanted to be my friend?!! It's just as well; people were doing just that well before that incident, and they'll likely keep doing it.  It's their problem, though, and they're the ones who need to fix it; who knows whether or not they will?

Lastly: I know that there are some things about me that do need to change.  Though I may be unique, I am no more perfect than anyone else, including those who might be reading this.  One of my problems has always been obsessing over things, which is bad in more than one way.  Not only is it idolatry, but it's also annoying to others; I know from experience.  Other negative traits--being too spend-happy, selfishness, low self-esteem, inability to hold my tongue at times, not using my time wisely--are also character flaws that I need to work on.  It's only with the help of God, my friends, and my family that such an achievement will be possible.  (Can I count on you to help me do it?)

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