Opinions. Everybody Has 'Em.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

" Most People Just Do It!"

May Contain A Smattering of Words of an Adult Nature!!!

One of these days I’m going to get myself a tee-shirt printed with my favorite pic of SSA Emily Prentiss and underneath that I’ll have printed her famous line: “ I’m not most people.”
And the reason for this ( other than just wanting an Emily Prentiss tee-shirt ) is that I find myself pressed to speak these very words to varying people at least two or three times in an average week.
Let me explain. Just one of the things can bug the ever-loving crap out of me in this life are people who, when asked why they want you to do something, respond by getting that deer-in-the-headlights look and stuttering, “ Well…em…I don’t know…it’s just because…most people just do it!” Whatever ‘it’ happens to be. Fill in the form. Hand out your personal PIN number. Drop and give the asker fifty. This endlessly irritating statement is most often accompanied by a smile so fake it’s a wonder it doesn’t turn the asker’s lips green, and much nervous tittering as they come to the apparently personally devastating realization that they do not, in fact, know why. They have themselves been following the orders given to them by others for so long they have stopped noticing that they haven’t a clue why they do most of the things they spend every… goddamned… day… of their lives doing.
Well, not this person.
If you’re going to ask me to do something and I don’t already know why, I’m going to ask why. And when I ask, if your reply is any variation of “ Well…em…I don’t…It’s just because…most people just do it!” ( cue nervous titter ) be warned that shit ain’t gonna fly. You will hear me say:
“ I’m not most people.”
Hence my reason for wanting the Emily tee-shirt. I get bored with repeating myself, so why not have a tee-shirt says it for me? ( And I get to have Emily Prentiss on my chest. There really is a silver lining in every cloud, Virginia! ) And it’s more polite than a tee-shirt says, “ Well, find the fuck out why before you ask me!”
It amazes me…it scares me somewhat too, and it certainly disheartens me…to realize how many people go through life blindly following orders and allowing themselves to be at the unquestioning behest of others, even when it makes no sense nor would seem to serve a productive purpose to do so. If an action performed at the behest of another - especially if the other is any nameless, faceless bureaucrat or bureaucratic organization - has no clear purpose or advantage to anyone involved, you ought to be at least mildly suspicious of it. Why does the meat-space storekeeper from whom you’ve just made a one-off cash purchase require your email address? You don’t expect to ever be in his store again. He has no need to contact you. Could it be he is intending to SPAM you? *Gasp!*
I’ll bet a lot of you reading this were thinking, “ Well, it’s probably just because…”
Two of the most dangerous words in the English language… “ just because”. Try counting up the amount of times you have done something or gone along with something “just because” you’ve thought “most people just do it”. Scared yourself there, I bet.
Now try something different. Try not just doing something because most people are doing it. Ask why you’re doing it first. Even if it’s just for one day. If nothing else you might give yourself a smile when you see that deer-in-the-headlights look and hear the nervous tittering before the spluttered, “ Well…em…I don’t…It’s just because…most people just do it!”
And remember. The only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask.

Emily is not most people. And neither am I.

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