“Will you return again?” asked the gate person at the entrance of Princess of Wales Theater downtown Toronto, surprised that I was leaving the show rather too early that evening. “No, I will not return,” I answered with a smile on my face hiding my total disappointment. I did not like the show and usually I wait until the end to share my opinion on likes and dislikes because I am very reserved with my criticism and that for many reasons. First of all, I like music of all genres. I watch shows and musicals and operas whenever the opportunity arises, but that does not make me an expert and I am fully aware of that. Secondly, I know how hard it is to put a show together, the amount of hours of practicing and rehearsing, and the energy required to put on before and during the show by all the team members. It is never as easy as it looks to the spectator in the audience. I know that because I was lucky enough to have been on the other side of stage too when I was pretty young, and yet I still remember that fulfilling experience as if it was yesterday. For these reasons I would never leave a show in such a way that it may hurt someone’s feelings, but that evening I had enough.
The show was full of shouts of loud and louder, and there was no musicality to it that would capture one’s attention, but only music that was hurting my ears. The story depicted in that musical show was very predictable too and the element of suspense was totally lacking. Here and there I would hear some people from the audience laughing with the super exaggerated movements and expressions of that gay dancer character and I was thinking to myself, “Why was that funny?” It was easy to conclude that either these people find anything that is different from ordinary funny enough to laugh at, or that these people were forcing themselves to laugh and pretend they were having a good time in order to justify their wrong choice of buying that ticket for that show. It is hard for any normal human individual to accept that their own choice was a mistake, but I am not like anyone else. I never was one of them; either one of the spectators or one of the actors. I have always been both. But, I am not writing this post today to brag about my qualities. In contrary, I am writing this blog for other fellow humans out there that like myself feel like they belong to more than just one category and yet are forced to make a choice. We are constantly forced to choose a side. In politics and during elections we are forced to pick a side and stick with it. In sharing opinions we are also forced to pick a side of the argument. In philosophy, science, music and so on we are always forced to make up our mind.
I had a hard time making up my mind all my life. I do not belong to Plato or Aristotle’s side of argument, I am on Socrates’ side that questions everything, and asks to learn more before making a conclusion, and yet does not pick a side because one finds faults in both sides. I find things that bother me with each opposite side of the argument, and I can see that there is a hidden agenda on both sides. Therefore, to avoid picking a side while fully aware that each side is hiding more facts or emphasizing some parts of the truth, I always ask “What if?”
Aristotle once said that one who is friend with everyone is not truly a friend, and he was right about this, but you see, those who belong in the category of Socrates are not indeed trying to be friend with any one at all. No my friends no. We call you a friend so that we would be polite in our arguments and also to avoid being categorized in any of your categories. But being polite and friendly is different from being a friend. In fact, the opposite is true; we oppose every side and that is why we refuse to join sides or favor a side. We openly but in polite ways say to you and everyone else for that matter that we are not convinced with facts or the logical explanations used by whichever side of argument, and that is why we refuse to commit. We are not friend with everyone, but we are not your enemies either, because we do not argue for the sake of arguing, and we do not raise doubts for the sake of making people confused.
Being friend with everyone or opposing everyone are opposite in themselves, and we are not like that at all. We aim for balance, we do not aim to choose a side and let things become monotone and boring, nor are we aiming to cause chaos. So for these reasons, we are quite the opposite of what Aristotle was talking about because we do not pat people on the back telling them “You are right my friend. Keep doing what you are doing.” Instead, we make people doubt their choices. Hence, we are not everyone’s friend. But on the other hand, we do not make people doubt their choices because we want to manipulate them in following our agenda; that would be Satan’s job, or trickster’s job, or cosmic joker’s aim or whatever you may want to call that kind of energy. The fact of the matter is that we do not have followers and we do not even want followers because we do not feel the need to be praised or to be proved right. We know we are. Above all, we do not follow any agenda. We do not form a group or groups; we do not even know one another. We do not form secret clubs or hidden societies. We instead live among you, openly sharing our opinions, openly asking questions, and doubting every decision made, including our owns, and because of that we have been persecuted by each side that comes into power just because we bring light to darkness when we question things, when we question everyone’s agenda. But no matter how much we are persecuted and forced to take sides, we are never assimilated and we continue to survive generation after generation, exactly because we do not have an agenda. Therefore, we cannot be programmed or manipulated by others, not for too long anyhow. We adapt to circumstances but we never stop asking questions because we are blessed with the freedom to think with our own heads. In the same way, we make people doubt their choices not because we want to bring confusion but in contrary, because we want to bring awareness.
I must admit, my choices in life have not always been the best or the smartest but I’ve noticed lately that my choices have always been different from that of crowds. I realized that no matter how hard is for me to accept it, the truth is that in my heart I am a rebellious person. But, just like Socrates and others who fit well in such uncategorized category, I realized that I am not a loud rebellious person, a reckless individual that likes to destroy and break things just to have that shocking effect on others. Yet, undeniably, even in my quietest decisions I managed to shock others nevertheless. And so that evening I did the same thing. With a smile on my face, remaining polite at all times, I decided to sneak out of that boring, nerve-racking show hoping I would not attract too much attention on myself with the choice that I made. But not a chance. I was asked whether I would return back to that freak show, and I had to honestly answer, “No, I am not coming back.” I tried very hard to say nothing more as my teeth were clenching to not let my tongue slip and add stuff life “It is not worthy,” or “It was useless and waste of time,” and so on. No I am not coming back to that show, because that was not my show. I did not feel part of audience or of the acting crew. That show felt so foreign to me, and I had decided to not pretend anymore that I liked it.
In fact at this stage in my life I have decided to be open and share my opinions and ideas without the fear of being labeled, judged, misinterpreted or misunderstood. I cared about others’ opinions all my life and tried to fit into categories so I would not be picked on, but it never worked for me. I always became the target no matter how well I thought I hid my emotions and my thoughts. My effect on others has always been very strong and has always triggered guilt in them, no matter what I say or what I do. No matter how polite and diplomatic the choice of my words was, others were always pissed off at me. It took years for me to realize that I was never the problem; their consciousness was the problem. I would do nothing at all, just breathe for example, and yet that would bother some people, because the very fact that I exist serves as a reminder to their own dirty consciousness about their hidden agendas. Just my existence makes them fear that the truth will come out. And I am not the only one that has such tremendous effect on certain people who are covered in guilt from head to toe, and who for this reason try at any cost make us pick a side, any side. But, if we pick a side, any side, we are doomed and they are safe.
Making a choice and picking a side will make them feel safe and their consciousness and sub-consciousness will be at ease because they now have a “valid reason” to either kill us, (because we joined the opposite side, hence we are their enemies) or shush us (because we have chosen their side, hence we are just as guilty as they are). I realized that I belong to no side and that is why I will not go back to a show I did not like, just to be polite. In the same way I will not repeat my past, or repeat my past mistakes, or even go back to fix my past mistakes. I learned to own my mistakes as valuable lessons. I learned to own my past as the past not as the future. I learned to question conspiracy theories and never feed those ideas in my head so they would become my guide to self-fulfilling prophecies of hurting myself like I did in the past. Secrecy does not scare me anymore, nor it thrills me. Secrecy and hidden agendas do not motivate me or serve as a guide for me to finding the truth because I believe they tell the truth, but in contrary, they serve as a guide to finding the truth that they are trying to hide. And this is the difference between them and me. I will never hide my past or my mistakes, I own them. I wear them as a ring on my finger, as a reminder of good and bad times, as a reminder of my own story, not the story someone else wants me to believe about myself. I wear my memories and my past on a ring, so that they will always be at the tip of my fingers reminding me of who I am, not who others think I am, or want me to think I am. I am my own self and if I do not like the music I do not dance to that music anymore; I move forward. I learned to leave the freak show when it does not resonate with me.
I move forward, I evolve. I do not come back, or return to my past. That would be my death, but I have chosen to survive. You can do the same.
So, that night I decided to tell the truth and told the gate person that I was not going to return to that show, no matter how shocking it may sound. In fact, deep down I knew and I was prepared about the fact that I was going to be disappointed with the show, but I wanted to make sure that I was right about how I felt. On the way to that show that night, the universe itself was sending me multiple signs as a prelude to my later disappointment. I was stuck in the traffic multiple times and I felt anxious about being late and missing my opportunity to watch that show. It was as if the universe was telling me, “Miss that show. Who cares? You will not like it anyhow.” But, I am stubborn in my head and rebellious in my heart, so I said to the universe, “Let me decide about that.” And so I made it to the show, and then later I gave credits to this energy that constantly wants to guide me but that I constantly doubt. I constantly doubt everything that forces me to make a choice, because I know a secret law and how that law works. It is called the law of destiny. This law states that destiny does not apply if free will is limited. Hence, if I have no choice when I make a choice then I am not following my destiny.
For this reason I do not regret any of my rebellious decisions I made in the past, because I am not a sheep, and even if I am, I am the black one then; the one that reminds them of their guilt no matter what color I wear, what language I speak, or what song I sing. I will always be different and stick out of the crowd because I think with my own head, and that is sufficient enough to remind those who have power over me and others like me that we do not fit into certain boxes they want us to confine. We are different because we use our logic; we reason. We do not even be together and share secrets because we reason on our own, and our own reason guides us. Therefore, whatever we do it will always serve as a reminder for one side of the argument or the other of what they did to thinkers like us in the past, trying to make them obedient like sheep by causing pain and denigrating thinkers of any form. They idealized their names but after they died though, like Socrates, Hypatia, and many other philosophers. They idealize our names but not the theories and causes we stand for.
Each time, someone like you and me, reminds them of their horrible past and their crimes they tremble and fear, and they force us to make a choice so that we will not question things, so that everything will go back the way it was before, where facts were well hidden from those who could think with their own heads. They like the opposite sides and constantly feed conflicts from which they are never hurt, because only the masses pay the bitter prize, because only the masses of people are thrown in the battle field, while those who orchestrated the conflict become now the spectators of the show. They don’t just like like, they love the opposites because it is due to the opposites that they still exist. But, I never liked extremes, and I never will. I liked balance and I like to question everything that others try to feed into my consciousness. I make my own decisions because I am able to think on my own. I use reason. And if you are like me, even if I do not know you at all, you can do the same, question everything and use your own reasoning and see where it leads you. So far, it has always led me to safer places, especially in regards to my consciousness.
And there I was that night, driving back home, disappointed with the show, with that kind of music stuck in my head that was like a screech more than music. I decided to turn the radio on and listen to some better music for my ears. At that moment my attention was immediately caught by the radio show Ideas, on the CBC Radio One Toronto. The host of that program titled “9 minutes that changed the world” was talking about how music itself transformed and changed as we moved from the 19th glorious century to the 20th century, which symbolizes the fact that we question rules and wanted to break any kind of restriction by asking “Why Not?” Hmmm…. that sounded interesting and I was curious to know more. More questions started to dance in my mind. How indeed did the music change, and why? Was every form of art changed too? Was there any significance or any reason behind such changes in music, art, philosophy, human mentality and so on, as we moved on from one century to another? I was about to find out all that but not by accepting what the host of the show delivered, but in contrary, by doubting that he was right in his remarks, and asking not “Why Not?” but “What if?”