Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bullies and Shirts

Recently I've had the annoying experience of a bully of the sorts yelling at me from his vehicle for me to "get some clothes on." Given the frequent sunny weather here in Texas I tend to favor shirtless and shoeless walks, mainly to up my vitamin D production and get a more even tan, and I guess this person didn't approve of my appearance. Of course, courageous as his act was, he conducted it by slowing down his car, yelling from an open door, and then driving promptly away. This is the second time this has happened to me, the other person committing the act without stopping or slowing down.

This irritates the hell out of me. Not because of its rudeness, but because of the philosophical underpinnings that are implied in the mentalities of these people who would do such a thing. My intention in taking a walk in such a fashion is not to make a statement or garner attention -- not even the attention of attractive women -- but simply to maintain my health and regularity of appearance (no farmer's tan for me). Otherwise I'm tending to my own business, walking for the same reason I always do: To introspect, which walking vastly helps me do. Oftentimes I even nearly lose awareness of what I'm doing because I'm enjoying my thinking so much, concentrating only on the attractive scenery and thought processes. These bullies, on the other hand, are displaying second-handed mentalities in which they're not only sensitive to their environment as it relates to them, but also are moved to offer spiteful comments to that which they disapprove of in order to gain approval of the people that are in the car with them.

It's obviously a difference between first-handedness and second-handedness that is leading to these different behaviors. In my first-handedness I am only concerned with my environment insofar as it relates to my safety (e.g. not stepping on glass barefoot) and aesthetic admiration; otherwise, my primary concern is my task, which is to enjoy my walk and indulge in a lot of thinking. They, on the other hand, in their second-handedness are concerned with the environment in regards to how it compares to them, leading them to keep a watch out for whether, say, people are looking at them, or in my case they might be looking for things to mock such as I, since my shirtless practice is uncommon and therefore unconventional, leading to them feeling irrationally superior to me since they're accepted by popular views and I'm not. Therefore, I theorize that their bullying comments was to gain a sense of superiority by highlighting in their minds that they're following convention while I'm not, and that the people in their car are approving by way of their probable laughter at their antics.

What most offends me is that I view this as unjust treatment considering I'm a great adherent to the golden rule. I treat others as I desire to be treated, and psychologically this has made me very tolerant of non-essential (i.e. not concerning morality) differences. I often walk shirtless and shoeless in public and expect to be respected on that matter and left alone, and in return I leave other people alone on their stylistic choices and practices in public, whether it be wearing what I'd consider offensive or absurd clothing, or strange practices such as walking with one's hands in the air (yes, I've seen that in the past). I've even seen a man walking around in a neon green suit before and only casually looked at him, not feeling motivated to stare or even comment on it in the privacy in my mind. When other people treat me rudely about my differences while I'm respecting theirs I feel unjustly treated since I'm granting them something they're not returning.

Whatever their comments, I'm not going to stop this practice. It has nothing to do with other people, not even showing off my physique to women I might find attractive. I'm engaged entirely in my own matters and wish these people would just tend to their own.

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