The terrain of life

We are unbalanced, as it is difficult to be true to ourselves.

We are taught to live normative lives. In your first years you are taught the difference between right and wrong. If you are allowed to rob a home, others are allowed to rob your home.  So the laws and morals of society protects you.

These norms extend to the rules at work, the quirky directives of your boss, the politics at work. We accept the norms, the laws of the land, the morals of our church and we attempt to live according to these.

This is “life on rails”. A person living on rails can be successful. For example, a politician can attain the powers of office.

To live outside the norms of society, is to invite adversity.   Norms are established because they are enforced. Forget about breaking the law. Try to be strange at work. Your colleagues will be afraid to associate you, lest they may be considered strange as well.

If you do not conform to norms, you lead a “life in the wilderness”.   A life in the wilderness has paths less travelled, so you may often find yourself in the brambles.

This does not mean you cannot be successful in your own way.   Martin Luther King went against the norms of his time.   Vincent van Gogh lead a life in the wilderness. In an act of love Vincent presented his ear to a “lady” he cherished, and he was shunned for that.   A person leading a life in the wilderness is not necessarily a “good” or “bad” person, as they may be living a life outside norms of “good” or “bad”.

You may not want to gift your ear, but you will have private thoughts, fantasies. If you do not express your real self, you may be somewhat on rails.

So by the words of William Shakespeare;- Those who want “to be” choose a life in the wilderness, and those that choose “not to be” are on rails.

It may be refreshing to get off at the stations once in a while, and go tramping into the wilderness a bit …

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