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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

300 Random Prompts: Day 14

Social media has removed the mystery of class reunions. I get that some folks have a curated online persona, but, really most of us are who we are. How would they react in person? I can't say. In high school, I was pretty obsessed with what people thought about me. I very much wanted to be liked. It was important to me. Honestly, that hasn't changed. Being well-liked matters to me. Not so much that I will compromise my authentic self, but if someone doesn't care for me it bugs me. Whenever I encounter someone who presents themselves as not caring what people think about them, I'm torn between admiration and skepticism. Don't they care just a little bit? Shouldn't they care? I also think people use that mindset as an excuse to be an asshole.

Hey, that was kind of a mean comment you made there, someone may say to them.

So? they retort. I don't give a shit what people think. I do what I want.

I mean, I get it. I prefer authenticity, too. But sometimes a person's authentic self needs a little work and sometimes that means we have to listen to what others have to say about us in order to grow and learn and become better. I'm not likely to change my sense of humor or my love of pizza. But the way I communicate or meet the needs of those in my life is always open for feedback. Even if it's not favorable. If it's given to me in good faith, then I can use it.

I'll not change my core values because I truly believe they're rooted in kindness and compassion and I have a hard time with folks who seem to go to cruelty or mean-spiritedness first. I hope the person I've become would be well received by former classmates. I want them to like the person I've grown into because, like many of us, I've not always liked my behavior and I believe I have grown. It matters to me that people accept that.

If they don't, then screw 'em. I am who I am. I just hope you're okay with that. If you're not, I could care less, but it would please me if you are.

I don't know if any of this answers the question. I hope you still like this answer, though.

If not, then screw you.

But, seriously. I hope you like it.

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