Ayshah | Victoria

Living my Passion | Living with Purpose | Living in Peace


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Pretentious Crappuccino

PRETENTIOUS CRAP irritates me no end! Maybe it’s because it requires so much effort for me to pretend or feign affection and/or intent. I didn’t grow up in a culture where people said one thing and believed (or meant) something else.

Lessons In Unnatural Behavior
I first learned how to “do” a fake smile (that is – smiling when you do not want to do so naturally) when I worked part-time at a restaurant during my college days in Lomdon. A valuable lesson for me.  The culture in the UK did not embody pretentious  behavior so you found that people showed their genuine feelings (good or bad) and there was rarely a need to decipher what was real from what wasn’t.

When I first came to the US, I found it very difficult comprehending the notion that “hey, how are you doing?” did not mean “hey, how are you doing?” – but actually just meant “hello”. So when friends and family came to visit, I had to let them know this so that they didn’t think interest was being expressed in their well-being. Seriously! I have had to interrupt an unknowing visitor (or two) from giving a detailed answer about how they actually felt! 😉

Of course I have been in the US long enough now to have assimilated my ways and I find there is much to be said for being able to smile on cue or ask how people are (however – I ALWAYS actually mean it). It makes the other person feel better (even cared for) and for no other reason, I love that. Today, I smile without thinking (which is a GOOD thing) and as far as I am concerned, smiling – or such aimless pleasantries that make other people feel good, are valuable in the overall well-being of our society. Our very humanity.

Political Correctness
I believe that political correctness has its place – in POLITICS! Of course there are a number of things to be said for and against political correctness – but I am not necessarily writing about political correctness here. I am speaking here of Pretentious Crap!

Pretentious Crap – Defined
I am talking about pretentiousness and the one-dimensional relationships built on them. I abhor the JANUS-like behavior that has become prevalent is society and the norm in certain industries and groups. However, this must not be confused with politeness, courtesy and warmth. You see, I believe that any synthetic, surface-only behavior is a cold misrepresentation of what we truly are as human beings.
We are living in the era of the two-faced monster

Relationships need not be pretentious for them to be successful, nor does one need to conform to other people’s preferences when they do not match one’s own. It is okay to be true to oneself because at the end of the day, when there is no one around but yourself, you will be at peace with who you are, knowing that you do not have to wake up another day and walk around with a mask on or pretend to have feelings, values and beliefs that you don’t.

Authenticity
There is peace in being comfortable within oneself when one does not have to pretend to be someone one isn’t – or indeed pretend to like a group/genre/class of people when in reality you’d be very far away from such people PERMANENTLY if you could get away with it!

We walk around judging others based on a pre-conceived understanding of what we THINK they are about and lace that judgement with our own insecurities and sense of self-importance. And all for what?

You will be surprised how much more enjoyable interpersonal dealings (at work or at play) will become when one is able to free oneself from the baggage of “performing” one’s persona.

Don’t be afraid to be authentic

So again, though I am thankful for learning how to smile on cue from my American family, I am grateful to my African, European and Middle-Eastern background for being able to be comfortable enough to BE myself at all times and SHARE my true self in as positive a way as possible in order to MAKE OTHER PEOPLE FEEL GOOD about themselves – because, all the polished smiles and empty sentiments in the world will do nothing when the person on the receiving end realizes that it was never real.

P.S. I actually love coffee. 🙂

Originally written: 3/31/10 All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

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