Think for yourself

(Click to enlarge)

It is me?  You decide.

I recently heard someone say that “Orange is the new black.” I was taken aback because I had no idea what that meant, except that my box of crayons was now all wrong.

Upon further examination of my life, I realized the chaos that the statement had now created for me. In the morning, I would have to drink black juice to get my vitamin C. The local college sports teams would have to be called the Syracuse Blackmen and Blackwomen. And what in the world would happen to Halloween? It was almost too much to handle.

And then it dawned on me that this person was probably just speaking about fashion, which made it a little better – but not much.  I am not a big fan of the fashion industry: the people who tell us to wear meat and tin foil, what colors are right and what colors are wrong, and how we are supposed to look. In fact, that irks me and makes me feel like slapping someone. But since I am a pacifist, I have decided just to apply a written whipping in place of a physical one.

People need to decide for themselves how they want to dress.  For me, a pair of comfy jeans and a casual shirt fits the bill.  Throw a hoodie atop that if it’s chilly and I am all set. (Gotta love those hoodies as I have the “sexy monk” thing going on when I put my top up). When I dress up, a classic suit is the way to go. Don’t tell me how to dress.  I am smart enough to know that I don’t want to look like a teenager or something out of the 19th Century. Case closed.

The mind wanders

Unfortunately for you, I could not stop there.  I began to think about how dangerous a statement like “Orange is the new black” is. Besides being a command that we should all think the same way, it is a distortion of reality.  I began to play around with this, and this is where the trouble starts.

Just think about it (if you want to – thinking is now becoming optional): we could solve (or create) all sorts of problems by thinking the same, distorted way. We could solve the problem of feeding the hungry if we all adopted the mindset that “Hungry is the new full.” We could cure bigotry if we all felt that “Oppressed is the new admired.” No one would ever feel bad about life anymore because “Sad is the new happy.” And all the problems of the world would be solved because “Sick is the new healthy” and “War is the new peace.”


That was easy. Just like that we set the world straight.  But life is not like that.  Look at the downside.  If we all think alike, then “You are the new me” and “I am the new everybody else.” We are all the same.  There is no such thing as diversity or culture or beauty, because without difference it cannot exist.

What’s my point?

Simple.  The next time someone (including me) tells you what to do or how to act or that “These are the rules about how to think,” take some time out to decide for yourself.  Embrace your wonderful uniqueness. Don’t just do something because everyone else is doing it; do it because YOU want to.

Let’s let beauty be beauty and love be love.  Be the perfect person that you have always been. Be happy for who you are. And for goodness sake:


About Joe

Freelance designer and writer whose goal is to help others by writing about my experiences with fear and anxiety (agoraphobia), health struggles (cancer) and my wonderfully-happy life as a husband and stay-at-home dad. I want to empower everyone to have a happy life.

13 responses »

  1. twrightlove says:

    Tell me about it. I just talked about this in a previous post, lol. I have an issue with people that follow me or other. Be you. Thanks for the laugh

    Not sure how this work, but you’re nominated. Take a look

  2. Oh, absolutely right! 🙂 So much rubbish spoken in the media – which is why I don’t read much of it! I know some of it is meant as a bit of fun or to lighten peoples thinking, but there are serious long term problems with watering down the real meaning of a word or a phrase, it can start out as ’40 is the new 30′ just to cheer those up who are unhappy with being forty, and before you know it, it’s seeped into everything.

    And I can’t help thinking when you said “war is the new peace” of George Orwell and some of the phrases in his novel ‘Ninety Eighty Four’ where everything was in reverse of what it used to be and no-one really knew the truth about anything any more. I think this might have happened to our world a very long time ago, and unfortunately it’s not getting any better.

    Your post made my day Joe, it’s very refreshing to read something like this! 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on WordMusing and commented:
    This is so good Joe, if only more thought like you did, this world would be a much better place!

  4. 7128788elf says:

    Great, a very interesting of showing a problem, I really enjoyed the stile and the message, so thanks for this, I will definitely follow, best wishes and blessings Charles.

  5. As soon as you said “Syracuse Blackmen,” I knew we were treading dangerous water. I’m from Syracuse and an S.U. grad. So I hate to see reality tampered with. 😉 I don’t watch “Orange is the New Black” or much of anything else on TV. But I agree, Joe, that people can be easily led unless they start thinking for themselves.

    There’s all kinds of hucksters, con men, and politicians who would be only too willing to do the thinking for us if we don’t bother to do it outselves.

  6. singhmv says:

    No, we got book writers to think for us and psychiatrists to sort our problems.

  7. Geo Sans says:

    love it
    great post

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