August 11, 2006

Changing Standards

Little girls are so lucky. When you're three, hiking up your dress and stuffing it in your panties so you can wade in the fountain on a hot day is perfectly acceptable. When you're twenty-three, this results in a security officer addressing you as "Miss." (Much to the disappointment of the twenty-three year old boys.) When we're thirty-three, we're addressed as "Ma'am" while we're calmly taken by the elbow by a person in a blue uniform. When we're eight-three, the uniform is more likely to be white and come with sensible shoes, but even then the outcome is the same.

"A person's gotta have standards," as the saying goes. Why should things be 'standard,' when we are all individuals? Whose standards are they? Why couldn't it be "a person's gotta have joy," instead? That three year old in the fountain certainly had enough joy to spread around to everyone who was watching her.

When is it exactly that we decide what others think of us is more important than fully enjoying the present moment?

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