When is the last time you opened your wardrobe?
We do it whenever we want a change of clothes. Wardrobe decisions – over what to buy, wear, dump – may be an abundant joy for some, but an absolute chore for others. Whether you like it or not, it is a necessary part of everyday life. We rarely want to turn up anywhere in public in our birthday suits!
Yet you may not have the right clothes in your wardrobes. And even when you do, you may find it hard to decide. These problems cannot be fully resolved without the sociological imagination:
Society judges you for what you study, where you work, and how much you earn. You judge society for its biased media, cut-throat politics, and misshaped environment. You find refuge in music, the arts, travel, and close relationships. Each facet of everyday life is woven into the fabric of our hearts. Each colors your choices of what to do, and how to behave. Each shapes the person you are.
To perceive the world as it is, we need a healthy body and an engaged mind. Only with both can we grow the heart to work at finding a fit for life’s functions. Only then can you move on from who you are, to discover who you can become.
SmartCasualSG is, in a sense, my wardrobe. I like to dress in colors. I like to match different colors each time I go out. I also tend to look out of place as a result, with colors which are a tad too striking or slightly out-of-sync. And this is who I tend to be: just a little out of place.
What I can give you here is a change of clothes. For a long time I wanted to try all kinds of clothes to meet all manners of taste. I have since realized that it was no way to live. I have to find the outfits and identities which fit me best. And what fits on me is often not going to fit on you.
So I will not tell you what to buy, wear, or dump. But I can open your eyes to an unusual option, if you are willing to open your ears. If there is only one revelation, let it be that what fits on you often does not fit on others. We all have to find our own individual styles, even if this must be constantly negotiated with the world around us.
We like to think that life exists in strict dichotomies. And so we judge people: right or wrong, smart or dumb, good or evil, boring or fun. Yet reality tells a different story. Reality tells us that there is never only one story to be told. There is never only one way to think, one way to feel, or one way to act.
It is within the grey areas that we learn empathy. It is also here that we can truly exercise our agency. My goal here is to inhabit these grey areas, and bring color to them. Because the problems of life are also opportunities for us to create life. By putting on new clothes.
May you discover who you can become!
aka Socio Empath