LIVE AND LET LIVE

Someone once told me that one should be able to do everything in life. One should be able to wear the fanciest suit as well as sleep in a tent in the middle of nowhere. After all, you can never be overdressed, over-educated or over-experienced.

It seems, however, that people tend to put others in boxes according to what they do – for instance, being a physicist implies that you’re a geek; or being a model implies that you’re shallow. Just because someone has dreadlocks, does it mean he/she is a Rastafarian?! Does it ever occur to us that someone might actually fancy dreadlocks as a hairstyle (I don’t know who’d actually like it – but hey, it’s possible)? When and why have we come to these conclusions and why is boxing people easier then understanding them or simply letting them be?

When I studied science there were these silly assumptions at the Uni, such as: the thicker the glasses, the smarter you are; or the less you care about clothes, the more you care about research… And as I care deeply about shoes and clothes it was implied that I’m the superficial, not very smart kind. Well, let me tell you a little secret: plaid flannel shirts, hiking boots and thick glasses do not imply you’re smart (they might imply that you won’t get laid though).

When you travel a lot (especially if you solo backpack) people think that you’re the kind that would walk barefoot everywhere, sleep in the streets, not shower for days… Because it’s way easier to assume something like that, rather than: this person must have experienced and learnt a lot of things. And let me tell you another little secret: surprisingly, there are showers in other countries as well, and people do wear shoes in other parts of the world too.

And God forbid you should write for Cosmopolitan magazine. I mean, that kind of magazine never has any worth reading content, and no one intelligent would ever buy it, would they? Well, I have to disappoint you – but a magazine that’s distributed in over 110 countries in the world, has 64 international editions and is printed in 35 languages is not read exclusively by stupid twats.

Despite of my shallow passion for shoes I surprisingly did manage to obtain a Master’s degree. I also backpacked through SE Asia, and miraculously, I did shower and used shoes to walk. I adore techno music, dancing and parties – and guess what: I’m not a junkie. I’m also not a fan of alcohol, I don’t enjoy shots nor drinking games, but that does not mean I can’t have fun – and when you assume that I’m boring because I didn’t have 10 shots with you in a row, it actually means you can’t have fun when you’re sober (it also means you’re going to puke very soon). I used to listen to punk-rock back in high school, had a band – but somehow I managed to not get a Mohawk (totally weird right? – if you listen to punk a Mohawk and torn clothes are a must).

It’s funny actually – nowadays the world is so much more open, but our minds aren’t. And while it’s easier to travel, to learn and to explore these days it seems as if it’s easier to judge as well. Because it would be totally crazy to assume that scientists could have fashion sense or that one could have any fun without getting plastered. Don’t you think that judgement should decrease with this rise of globalization? Cause chances are you’re gonna bump into a backpacker who showers or a techno enthusiast who isn’t a junkie sooner than you think. So just stop for a moment before putting someone in a box the next time (figuratively of course, never put an actual person in an actual box – I hear that’s illegal). Dude, just live and let live.

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