We do not fit each other’s shoes, even if they are the same size. We don’t think alike, so our expectations from each other will often miss or explode. You’re scared of spiders, I’m scared of heights, and we both think the other’s fear is a little silly. We cry at different parts of the same movie, don’t laugh at the same parts of different movies, I hate the movies you like, and you hate the food I love. Even if we had the same goals, we would chase it in our own unique way.
Still we forget this, that everyone is two different people, and we burden each other with our own vision of life as if we must all have the same one or die.
Every single thing on earth is trying to wrap you in its vision. That shoe company wants you in their shoes. That teacher thinks you’d make a good lawyer, or engineer, or accountant. Your friend says be single like me. Your parents want you to be a surgeon, a lieutenant, part of the family business, but not an artist or writer. The television tells you to lose weight, put on make-up, have eye surgery, get this car, buy these clothes, and then you will be successful. Nearly everyone will tell you what you can do, can’t do, shouldn’t do, and will do. Some are right, some are wrong, but you’ll be darn sure to hear their opinion anyway. As long as you don’t, heaven forbid, think for yourself.
Nothing is satisfied with how you are and wants you to be how they think you should be. But nothing on earth has that kind of authority over you. No one has business being the boss of your vision, to inform the fixture of your individually designed soul: but we let it happen.
Over time, by degrees, fooled by the bright signs and detours, we turn our will over to everyone else’s vision. Until we are merely a concoction of pop culture, radio songs, the latest jeans, and a hairdo that will not impress your kids and their kids — it is the slow death by marketing and conformity into an eclectic pastiche of cheap imitation.