One of the many games people like to play on the Internet is ‘Why’dDeyDoDat?’ This involves looking at why a celebrity makes a decision, and then attempting to insert themselves into that person’s head-space as a means to rationalise their thinking. It’s the game an entire family can play, it’s often capable of running for months at a time unaided, and can cause massive amounts of both good and bad fallout. I’m getting better at catching myself and stopping my tuppence worth fuelling the fire, but it still happens. If the lovely lady wants to show herself naked on social media, for instance, she’s going to have to prepare herself for a measure of criticism as well as praise. If the very attractive actor decides to have an affair whilst still married? Well, there’s likely to be criticism well after the love is dead and gone. However, the fact remains: not your choice. You might get to hear about it before, during or after the fact, but that’s it. Nobody made you an arbiter of anybody else’s life except your own, with the possible exception of kids under consent/legal age and as a designated carer.
The buck always stops with you.
Why is it therefore that everyone decides they know what’s going on without understanding all the motivations? What is it about speculation that sells units and sticks bums on seats? If your favourite musician said this is their Farewell Tour three sell out events ago and is still going, do you care that you know they’re lying and you’re happy to throw money at them regardless? When your reigning monarch apparently has an anti-European stance (because that’s what sovereign nations have done for thousands of years) should it really be enough to fuel a massive media spat? The problem with the developed Western World is that in the absence of conflict, we simply invent our own. Other people’s wars and hardship are not enough, there needs to be drama and plenty of it. It is no surprise that so many people are excited about a bunch of super heroes having a bust up, for instance, because that’s utterly not what these people do. To make this franchise interesting? Make a fight break out, and force people who as a default stand up for good into a choice.
It’s hardly rocket science, now is it?
Except sometimes? You don’t want drama. Things are hurtful and horrific and you simply need to vanish. You might be the kind of person who doesn’t want to even be in the fight to begin with but ends up stuck in a corner where they can do nothing about it. It might end up as a reaction to something after years of anger and contempt from sources that others aren’t even aware of. If you choose to tell people why something happened? That’s great, but actually you’re not obliged to say anything at all. That’s where I stand now. A few years back I deliberately cut ties with a number of people who clearly believed that they had become more important in my life than they actually were. One was actually making me more emotionally unstable than I needed to be, the other made me frightened. I couldn’t find a way to tell either of them the truth so it was simply easier to walk away. Now I know what was wrong, should I go back and explain? Absolutely not. All I can do is make sure that when issues reoccur that I’m clear and precise with the people involved about what’s going on, and why I’m doing what I do.
Most importantly, nobody owes the World an explanation for their actions. If you’re the sports professional who’s relied on a substance for years that everyone knew secretly was bad but nobody talked about? If you’re the aggrieved partner who tries to sell stories of the decades of marital infidelity you put up with to make money? How you choose to deal with this, in the end, is nobody’s business but yours. I don’t know you, and I don’t care. Nobody else should either, and yet that’s at least 90% of what passes as ‘news’ in my World this morning.
Be true to yourself, before you begin deciding you’re the arbiter of others’ lives.