There was a popular saying back in the early ’70s taken from a poem written by a Jewish psychotherapist, Frederick E. Perl:
I do my thing, and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.
I like his words because I’m a child of the sixties and teen of the seventies and want to be left-the-hell along, and because it speaks of the kind of freedom of expression that so many of us desire. I want to live in a world with people who understand that what I think or believe (at the end of the day) is my opinion. And that I can hold my opinion and practice my beliefs in a way that does not prevent you from doing the same. I want to live in a world of thinking, civil people who understand that my wearing a boy cut works for me. If you don’t like my haircut, just don’t cut yours in this fashion. You may hold your opinion about it, but essentially, it won’t change mine about it—and that should be okay; it’s my thing, not yours. The problem is that many people think my right to have my opinion is somehow going to change their otherwise, sane world; that my simply being different is going to ruin everything for them. Well, welcome to the real world, Boo, everything changes. It’s a fact of life; things that don’t change, somehow end up dead. The problem, in my opinion, is that these people want the world to change according to their dictates, not some other person’s. Well, welcome again, there are a lot of Others here and more are coming to the Land of Free, the Home of the Brave. So get ready Americans: What it means to be American is getting more and more unusual. God Bless America.