Telling people what to do and how to think

Telling people what to do and how to think

Aug 23, 2016, 2:55:03 PM Opinion

Last week I fell upon an article that was critical of cargo shorts.  Yes, I’m not kidding.  And critical as being kind.  When I say critical, I mean the author was relentless in their criticism of cargo shorts.  They had nothing positive to say about them.  I guess the fashion police have decided that cargo shorts are out of style now.  The readers were told that instead they should wear chino shorts (without any pockets too).  Needless to say, I decided to wear cargo shorts that day just because of reading that article – yes a little passive aggressive, but seriously, a war on cargo shorts?  Who in their right mind wears shorts without pockets?  Where do you keep your keys, or wallet, or phone, or anything else?

I think my reaction is a typical reaction though.  It’s typical of a lot of people who are told what to do or how to think.  We do the opposite of what we are told because we’ve been told what we can’t do.  The funny thing is, the people who make these rules only encourage people breaking them the more they fuss about them.

Maybe it’s childish.  Then again, maybe it’s childish to expect people to follow a rule from some self-proclaimed expert in some field on something so subjective as fashion.

I’m aware of this reaction too when it comes to religion and politics.  I try to stay away from the should’s and the have-to’s.  They usually don’t turn out well. One of the worst things you can do if try to force someone to act a certain way or believe a certain thing.  It’s far better to have natural buy-in.  But that requires a bit more effort and patience.  And the willingness to be flexible and listen – you don’t get 100% of what you want, but that’s ok, you’re moving along in the right direction.  And you might have to change too, which is probably a good thing too.

I can share what has worked for me and I can talk about what I see going on around me, but I know that as soon as I turn to proclaiming what people have to do or what they should do, I know there will be resistance.  And probably rightly so.  That’s me trying to force people to be different – to be like me.  And they aren’t me and they shouldn’t be me.  You should be who you are, not someone else.

In the meantime, I’ll just go right on wearing my cargo shorts and not caring if they are in style or not.  Because for me, practicality is more important.  If fashion is more important for you, great, more power to you.  How about this – you let me where what I want to, and keep your opinions to yourself unless I ask and I’ll do the same.  Believe me, you don’t want to hear my thoughts about Chino Shorts and how ridiculous they look.  Let’s let each other live with that.  And no, I’m not holding your keys or phone for you since you decided to wear shorts without pockets.  Your wallet, sure, but there’s a holding fee.  You can call it the price of fashion.

Published by Matthew Best

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