People in general will see you as they fear themselves to be, but those with good hearts will see you as they aspire to be. Having been on the receiving end of significant criticism recently, I almost forgot to remind myself of that age old wisdom that says that your actions define who you are, not who I am. And so the same applies with your comments and your criticism.
It’s rare to find people who criticise sincerely, but more importantly, it’s even more rare to find people who criticise from an informed perspective. Our penchant to want to be proven true about something insightful often leads many to offer their uninformed opinions cloaked in bookish bombast (I’ve always loved that phrase that I know will make people think me to be even more pretentious than before). The truth is, our search for significance drives us towards less than admirable behaviour more often than we’d care to acknowledge, and often even more than we would realise.
I probably am guilty of much of the pretentiousness that I am accused of, but the truth is, I don’t care since it’s mostly with a deliberate intent. While reflecting on all the criticism that I’ve received lately most of which was subtle and not as overtly obvious as it was intended, I had to remind myself that my inclination to contradict the mainstream is not an adult fetish but rather a trait that has accompanied me and served me well my entirely life. Of course, that is entirely subjective given that many would probably classify me as a recluse, but the truth is, this same attitude of mine is what has seen me through many life threatening and life altering experiences, a fraction of which has literally caused many others to crumble under the sheer burden of it.
So it’s unlikely that I will choose to change my approach to life, and people any time in the near future, if ever. People have proven to be inconsistent, just like me, because the same way I doubt myself so often, so do they. I guess the burden of being inherently introspective and somewhat socially averse (not to be mistaken for anti-social!) is that it inevitably paints a target on my back that makes me fair game for those seeking to pacify themselves about their own shortcomings and prejudices. But that has had no influence in dissuading me before, and I don’t intend to give it much credence now either.