It’s been a major bugaboo of mine for a long time, this wanting everyone to get along. I cannot fathom the state of mind that sets someone against another just based on hearsay or a bad reputation. Naturally, given the communication medium of the Internet, I find myself butting heads with that mentality all too often: either generalized so broadly that it insults far more people than intended, or generalized so broadly specifically to insult as many people as possible. (While that’s a behavior I can’t understand, either, it’s not a discussion I want to have right now.)
Again, then, what makes my obsession with liberating people from their fanatical devotions any different from someone who always has to have exactly fifty jelly beans over the course of the day? The answer, of course, is nothing. It’s exactly the same and exactly as harmful.
I can’t fix everyone. I can’t fix anyone but myself. It’s not a matter of capability, it’s a matter of even having the right to. I have no right to tell anyone else how they should live their lives, and especially not when I have so many of my own little problems to deal with. But one thing I can do, and one thing I hope to always do, is to lead by example. By living my life the way I think I should, the only thing that can advance my goal ethically that I can even hope to accomplish is to inspire someone else to work to fix their own problems. Maybe I never actually inspire anyone. Doesn’t matter. As long as I never cross the line into ordering people around, I’m doing what I can. My obsession becomes a passion instead.
So I’m going to be “out” as a geek. I’m going to be smart. I’m going to be at anime conventions until I’m old and gray. I’m going to watch turn-your-brain-off action movies and high-art films. I’m going to use what I want, to like what I want, and to dislike what I want. I’m going to treat people who agree with me with care, and the people who disagree with me with respect.
And if you don’t like it, that’s your problem, not mine.