There are two reasons for this. The first is that, having done what I do over a considerable time, I have become adept at it. But another reason is that it is more acceptable from a societal point of view to establish continuity and therefore predictability in my persona. People know me in that I do the things that I do because I have always done them.
We need people to be as we expect them to be. It helps us categorize and manage the floods of humanity which is otherwise doing more or less the same things we do. We eat, we sleep, we reproduce. Repeat. But if we KNOW that some guy always eats with his left hand even if he is right-handed, we can pin him to that particular exhibit and move on. We need no further contemplate him as a person because his persona has distinguished attributes.
In my case, I have long done things slightly differently from my peers and fellows - not enough to be labeled as crazy, but perhaps just enough to gain the status of eccentric (i.e., off-center). While everyone else wears ties, I have Nehru collars. When people nod and agree, I dispute. When everyone else disputes, I nod and agree. Over time, I have come to understand that this does not happen out of a need to be different, but rather as a reaction to what appears to me to be rampant and unthinking conformity.
We all like to be the same, to some extent. But do we choose it or are we compelled to try to be the same?
If tomorrow I begin to do things as NEVER I have done them before, does it make a statement about my previous actions? It would if you considered other peoples' boxes as a True Home. When I start to act outside the box which I have been assigned, the mass of humanity which may know me will begin to reclassify and open a new box for me. In other words, my persona is infinitely the persona of the moment.
And people HATE to reclassify...
This means that, if I reclassify someone know into a new and previously unknown category, I must accept the possibility of reclassifying or changing myself. If everything remains the same, then so do I. If things can change, then so can I. This is terrifying.
The notion of Original Content, to me, speaks to considered content. The content of one's Life Thus Far, in other words, need not be the content of one's total life. Tomorrow could bring change (or the next minute) or not. And if change is inevitable, why do we oppose it so vehemently if not because - like the others who box us - we box ourselves as well. We have a residual self image which is how we view ourselves and our place in the universe. There is an erroneous notion that, if I choose to reconsider my place in the universe, that my Life Thus Far was somehow wrong.
The reality however is different. The reality is that change is constant, and the decision to buck against change and be the same as we perceive ourselves and as others perceive us is a conscious decision. We are stuck in an endless chain of decision-making which leads us to do and be and act and speak exactly as we did yesterday so that we continue to know ourselves.
If this is done with consideration and thought, then perhaps it is original. But I suspect that it is not, in most cases. I suspect that it is a product of habit and conditioning. As such, the habits can be broken and the conditioning thrown aside.
QUESTION: Will today be different?
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