I am not a number

I am never going back into a box.

Back in the day I used to attend a lot of meetings, conferences, conventions, seminars, and social events where I was expected to wear a badge, a name-tag, a label.  After a while of feeling both self-conscious and controlled, I took to refusing to wear a name-tag.  Even back when my livelihood depended on it, I was uncomfortable wearing a label for the convenience of others.

Some people; judgmental, condemnatory, negative, supercilious, disdainful people, like to know all about you so that they can categorise you, and put you into a safely inferior box.  They ask personal questions; ‘Where are you from?’ ‘Who are your people?’ ‘Where do you live?’  ‘Where did you go to school / college / university?’ ‘What do you do?’ ‘How much does that pay?’  ‘What do you drive?’ are but of the few of the very personal things I’ve been asked in my time.

To a very reserved, very polite Englishman, all of those questions are rude and intrusive.

Some people want to know all about you for one set of self-serving interlocking reasons.  Are you worth talking to?  Are you important?  Are you inferior or equal to me?  What can I get from you?  Is it really worth my time getting to know you?

Some people are not interested in you as an individual.  All they are interested in is where you fit on the bell-curve of social standing in their narrow-minded little world.

Should I wish to do so, I find it very easy to be charming and manage my behaviour, conversation, and attitudes to fit in with just about anyone, in any group, in any social situation.  I had the very best training and motivation in the world to teach me to do just that ~ it was an integral part of my job, and my job paid more money than even a grasping trophy wife could spend.

But all that’s just chasing shadows of meaningless instant gratification.  Chasing instant gratification is not good.  Now I live in a more meaningful and more spiritual world.  Today, I will not change my outward behaviour, conversation, or attitudes to fit in with what you like, or what your group expects, or what your friends and family think is acceptable, or to fit nicely into your accustomed social situations.

To do that again would mean me becoming a false man, the man in the mirror, a shadow man, a man of straw.  It isn’t going to happen.

To be questioned, probed, inspected, examined, studied, judged, categorised, designated, classified, and labeled is demeaning.  A decent person shouldn’t do it to another, and a confident person shouldn’t allow it to happen.

I’m not going back into someone else’s box, not ever again.  I will not be badged, numbered, labeled. I am not a number, I am a free man.

~

PrisonerSeventhese thoughts are mine, and mine alone

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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