I like this statement and the philosophy behind it. I often dance as if no one is watching. Sometimes no one is and sometimes there is a crowd. I have danced like no one is watching at parties. I was having a great time moving with the music, maybe with a partner or maybe just me. People watching either thought, “How cool; wish I had the nerve to do that” or “That bitch is crazy”. Whatever. When I do a happy dance it’s for me. The opinion of others is for them.
Today I was out shopping which involved driving to the mall where I had to sit at a stop light or two. The radio was playing and I was bobbing my head and tapping the steering wheel as I waited. I glanced over to the car beside me and saw boy tapping the back of the seat in front of him in time to whatever he was listening too. Maybe he had figured out at an early age that the opinions of people in other cars that one is likely never to see again are just not important. Or, maybe he was just bored.
That’s the thing isn’t it. How much or how little to care about how we are perceived by others. Almost all of us want to be liked, to connect with others, to be cared for. We are after all social creatures. How much do we adjust our behavior to gain or hold the regard of others? Not much for me as I grow older, but I have often kept quiet to avoid offense or just to keep the peace. What I have learned is that those people I care most about who return that care are not offended when we disagree. Real friends respectfully disagree. Acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers and crazy uncles not so much. Some people only want to interact with others who agree with them or are just like them. A conversation with these people requires that you suppress any thoughts you have that may cause an argument because they assume that everyone has to agree about everything if they are to spend time together.
I actually enjoy a discussion with others whose views are not the same as mine. There is much to be learned and sometimes I see things differently after considering other ideas. I am not particularly enamored with guns. They make me nervous. But I know someone whose favorite thing is target practice. She goes hunting. She has a collection of guns in her home. She assures me that she poses no more danger to anyone than if she did not have them and I believe her. I had rather go dancing than shooting, but I still like her.
When dealing with more fervently held beliefs tolerance of one another becomes more difficult. I believe that abortion is a personal and private thing to be handled only by the woman. One of my friends believes any abortion is murder and wants there to be laws to protect the unborn. We will never agree and we will never change each other’s minds, so this topic is off limits. I am not religious. Not at all. Since I live in the bible belt that makes some people uncomfortable and others angry or incredulous. I handle this two ways. When someone says they are praying for me I appreciate the thought and if pressed to make a reply I just say I appreciate the concern. I really do. When someone preaches at me or insists on offering what they see as proof of their faith I am more inclined to stand my ground. It seems to me that faith by definition cannot be proved, but I digress. I would never attempt to convince someone that there is no god or try to keep them away from their church. Therefore, I also will never be convinced to follow a religion.
Whatever. I am going out on my lawn to dance in the rain. Think I’ll take the dog with me and when the rain stops maybe there will be a rainbow. Those happen when the scientific factors are just right.