11 May 2015

My Declaration of Independence

When, in the course of my lifetime I find it important to define just where I fit in in this world, I start to realize the incredible number of people, organizations, and businesses that want me to be simply a walking, talking, spending automaton, and I realize how important it is to declare my independence from the forces in the world that seek to downplay and even denigrate my individuality and beautiful uniqueness.  With these forces that threaten my ability to be myself firmly in place, I find it necessary to declare my independence from these very forces through a firm declaration of what I am and what I am not.

1.  I am not simply a potential customer with cash and credit cards, able to purchase anything I want whenever I want.  I make purchases based on my perceived needs, yet I must stay independent from the advertisers and marketers who seek to create artificial needs in my mind.

2.  I am not simply a member of a demographic group.  I am not a Gen-X'er, nor am I a member of a certain age, ethnic, or geographical group.  I am a unique individual whose uniqueness is one of the most important aspects of who I am.

3.  I am able to think for myself, and I am able to recognize when people are trying to manipulate me into thinking as they wish me to think.  It is very important to me to recognize the logic that others are using to determine whether they are being honest and truthful or whether they are using false logic and/or facts to try to affect my thoughts and opinions.

4.  I am a member of several communities, but none of these communities defines who I am as a human being.  I am independent of such superficial definitions, for I know that it is impossible to define or categorize any human being based on any superficial criteria such as the town I live in, the language I speak, or my nationality.

5.  I am not defined by my work or my chosen profession.  Once I allow myself to be so defined, I am subject to many preconceived notions, prejudices, and biases on the parts of others who are unable to see past their own ideas of what people who are so defined are actually like.

6.  I am created equal to all other human beings on this planet in the eyes of God.  Other human beings may be better writers, athletes, or teachers, or they may earn more money or enjoy more fame, but those factors in no way makes anyone "better" than me.  I will not be devalued or looked down upon based on any other people's definitions of success.

7.  I am important, and I can affect other people's lives to varying degrees.  I can encourage and motivate, inspire and lift up, but I also can discourage and harm if I am not careful.  I will not be convinced that I and my opinions and thoughts do not matter.

As the technological age advances and marketing techniques and strategies become more invasive and insidious, it's important for me always to remind myself of my own value and individuality.  If I'm unable to do so, I face the danger of having my thoughts begin to conform to the ideas of who I am that are put forth by people who do not know me and who never will meet me and get to know me.

I am independent, and I am a part of an interdependent culture that covers the entire world.  I am responsible to myself, and only in fulfilling that responsibility to myself will I be able to fulfill my responsibilities to the rest of the world.  Those who seek to put me into a niche and keep me there are not harming just me if I allow them to convince me that they're right; rather, they're harming the entire world by causing me to keep down my beautiful uniqueness, for then I will be unable to share it and my gifts with others who just may need to have them shared.

I am I, and I am happy and proud of that fact.  I make mistakes, and I hurt people; I do good things and I help others.  I am human, I am unique, and I have many gifts.  Only I can define who I am, through my thoughts and actions and prayers.  I am not open to definition from others.

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