Courtesy is overrated.

I have made a lot of declarations in my lifetime, but none so morbid and potentially controversial. And even as I use the word morbid, I cannot help but think of how contextual it is. If you ask me, the very survival of the human race depends on things being in context.  We seem to need things to be said and done by the right people at the right time.  We need condolences when a loved one dies, we need hugs when we are feeling sad, we need food when we are hungry. If say, someone offers us food when we are full, it is considered useless. The timeliness of things has become such an essential part of human interaction, I for one, cannot fathom of a world without it. But it has also branded some things awkward and abnormal. And that in a sense, may be my premise for this absurd declaration. Before I go on, I feel it would be in order for me to mention that I may make a lot of out of place declarations and segues. Getting back to the start; for something to be considered morbid, it has to be out of place; an unheard of thought, an inappropriate gesture, a misplaced human being. It has always puzzled me that as a people, we’ve always been so obsessed by this need for things to fit in. 
My history teacher used to say that the need for acceptance is the fourth basic human want. This utterance always confused me; it simultaneously elicited disagreement and acceptance in me. My brain disagreed vehemently, but somewhere within the pits of my stomach, I felt warmth, an agreement of sorts. It is almost as if my intestinal walls were saluting the return of an old friend presumed to be lost in the war that is always raging in my mind. I have learnt to not fight the things that affect the feel of my stomach because more often than not, these things have turned out to be the things that make my life worthwhile. This however, doesn’t make my disagreement less valid. For one, there are only three basic human needs. To declare a want for belonging a basic human need would not only be pretentiously philosophical but also a tad too simple. I do not say this out of disrespect, but only as a candid expression of a firm opinion. Also, the mere fact that I have a disclaimer of sorts when expressing my opinion, is a further proof of my point. We have become too engrossed in courtesy and keeping things in context, we have forgotten to have opinions and speak our minds, wholly, honestly.

So when I say courtesy is overrated, I am in no way championing for a disorderly, disrespectful populous. I am only stating that perhaps being on our best behaviour every damned time isn’t at all that necessary. I am suggesting that it wouldn’t hurt to find out how the world would feel with a little more honesty, a little more rawness, if we didn’t have to walk on egg shells attempting to cater to the feelings of everyone that could be offended by any possible combination of the words out of our mouths. 

I have been told on numerous occasions that I am bluntly honest and on more than one occasion that it is rude and annoying. I do see their point. I am unable to keep disdain off my face when someone says or does something I consider vilely stupid, I am unable to fake pleasure at meeting someone I do not like, I am unable to hold a polite conversation with someone I do not know. I could blame a bit of it on my introversion, but lately it stems more out of a purposeful refusal to indulge a dishonest culture. Also, it comes rather easy to me because I have never much cared for my likeability. I have never thought of myself as a nice person. And quite frankly, I find it mildly aggravating when people think of me as a nice person. So while I do endorse humane characteristics like kindness and sympathy and generosity and I will till the day I die, and even in my next life, endeavour to be as humane and as good a person as I could be, what I will never try to be, is hold my tongue or pretend to be pleased by something that isn’t so just so that I can be liked. I may hold my tongue to spare a loved one’s feelings, hell, I would even lie to them for the same reason (but that would depend on how much I love you) but there is only so much compromising I am willing to do.  And if that makes me an oddity, then so be it.

And that may be the reason why I write. It could be because I am very opinionated and my lack of social skills doesn’t allow me to fully express them. It could be because I spend so much time in my mind and I need an outlet or it could even be because some of the things I say and believe hold a bit of wisdom or maybe even some truth.  It could any number of these things, or none of these things at all. I don’t know. What I do know is that I write not to lay claim to the conceptions of my mind as righteous or even absolutely true, but as the unapologetic, honest opinion of a misunderstood child trying to understand a vastly complex universe and vaguer still, the occupants of the aforementioned universe. It is not in my desire for the opinions expressed in my writing to be used as a threshold by which judgement can be passed or counter-opinions dismissed. I only document the changes my mind (and sometimes body) goes through. My writing is solely for myself; an attempt to clutch on to the quarters of my being that are most honest and free; an unwillingness to give up on the bit of madness that I was bestowed; if anything, to make sure this insanity runs it’s full course. I only share it for like-minded people to relate to and more than that, offer insight to help me grow. The contents of my writing may not always be true. But they will always be honest. Besides, there is no such thing as absolute truth. Even the declaration itself may not be absolutely true. 

 

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