Or Else

I had a lot of inspiration yesterday.  I also learned something more about myself.  Ultimatums are something I have never been able to understand, but I noticed that they seem to sneak into our lives in very random ways.  I may be wrong for noticing or even pointing out some of these things, but no matter how you spin it, ultimatums are not very positive.

The whole idea of “don’t do this if you can’t do that in return” is basically saying there is a punishment of some sort if you don’t get it your way.  It reminds me of a friend of mine who always seems to be doing right by everyone but nobody ever does right by him.  It must seriously suck to live this way.

The funniest part of my friend’s life is that he has actually done to me exactly what he bitches about other people doing to him.  This is exactly why I live by the philosophy “what other people think of me is none of my business.”

It is a pretty simple philosophy.  I do me, you do you.  Bob Marley has a great line in one of his songs.

“My choice is what I choose to do
And if Im causing no harm
It shouldnt bother you
Your choice is who you choose to be
And if your causin no harm
Then you’re alright with me”

This is exactly what I mean by what other people think of me is none of my business.  And this is why my friend needs to chill out.  If you are so dependent on other people’s approval or support for every single thing you do and want out of life then you have a lot of disappointment ahead of you!

Chrissy by The Average Jim

I don’t care how hard you work or how badly you want something, someone out there is not going to like it.  Someone will think poorly of your choice in life.  I have another friend who actually no longer follows my work or is even a friend of mine on social media at all anymore because of the type of work I post.

He is a minister, a fairly conservative one at that.  But he does not like what I do.  He has never come out and told me, he has never said anything negative to me, but I know he doesn’t like it and I’m okay with that because he has never judged me for it.  The irony is how some of our other mutual friends have seriously questioned his life choice.  Here I am, the crazy photographer guy who has nude women running around his house, smoking weed and just having fun but I’m totally cool with his life choice because it makes him happy.

And then there are our other friends who seem to think he is missing out on life because he has decided to dedicate his life to something he fully believes in.  It isn’t any of our places to judge him.  It isn’t up to us to decide what will make him happy.  This type of ultimatum is exactly what I mean.  “You can’t be my friend if you do this or that.”  That is just bullshit.

Audrey by The Average Jim

I was photographing a wedding yesterday.  Yeah, I still do that on occasion.  But the bride and groom’s vows to each other were pretty damn awesome.  They fully acknowledged how they are so very different and how those differences have expanded both of their outlooks on life and love.  And also how they may have many things in common, but it is their differences that bring them closer.  This level of acceptance is just awesome!

It just made me happy that in a world full of people wanting something from you there are still people who are simply willing to give something of themselves to another without asking for anything in return.  No ultimatum, no demands, no rules which they base their counter actions upon.  They are who they are, they are genuine to themselves and this really motivates me to stay genuine to myself as well.  It really was inspiring.