Fitting In

Joe Dallesandro wrote a letter to James Harmon for his book, Take My Advice: Letters to the Next Generation from People who Know a Think or Two, and in his letter he reflected on the way that many people act and how we worry about what other people think of us. He writes, “In a way, it’s how most of us live our lives.  We wonder if other people find us worthy, find us smart, find us attractive, find us valuable.”
In this quote Dallesandro is speaking of the way that we judge other people, and how we constantly are judging ourselves.  We look at other people and make determinations about them based on their appearance. I am not sure where I heard this but on a podcast I remember listening to someone talk about our biases, and their main point was that we form biases and opinions within the first 15 seconds of looking at someone.  What Dallesandro is saying is that these biases change our behavior, even if we are not consciously aware of them, and that we try to mold our behavior according to these biases. In this way, our perspective of the world shapes us to act in a certain way.
Dallesandro is critical of our fears of what other people will think. He argues that we need to loose our judgment of other people, drop our fear of what others think, and focus on what makes us stronger and better people.  By becoming more self aware, we can begin to stop making judgements about other people and allow them to be happy with the person they are.  At the same time, increasing self awareness and not worrying about what others think of us will allow us to act in a more free manner, and to build deeper connections with a more diverse group of people.
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