I have always wanted to write about pragmatic issues, issues that would change the world and that would really touch people’s lives. Yet, in my quest to find meaning in my words, I have lost my ability to write. My fingers hit the keyboard , only to hit the delete button after producing a few words. There are days where I wake up with a great idea to write about, but then I realize that the idea had been used and abused by many before me. There are other days, when I feel like writing about my personal experiences I do write about them but I don’t publish them because that is exactly what they are… personal.
I have been spinning in a whirlwind of lack of inspiration holding on to snippets of thoughts only to realize that I have nothing pragmatic to say. So, owning up to my lack of inspiration, today I have decided to write about nothing important. Let the gender equality issues, the issues related to gay rights, and Amman’s social vices be someone else’s muse for today, while I take on the persona of a child who is writing just because.
When we were kids, we used the words “Just because” to justify any action or reaction that lacked purpose. You would ask a five year old boy why he threw sand in his friend’s eye, and he would reply ” because” while believing that his answer is good enough.
As this boy grows older, he is taught that the words “Just Because” are not good explanations anymore, and that in fact he does need to find a higher purpose for everything he says or does. He learns that he needs to choose a career that gives him status and that enables him to say that he does something meaningful for the community. He also learns that he should choose a partner that would fit his and his family’s image, and finally, he learns that he should have a son to carry on the family name. This boy who was one day playing “Just Because” grows up to chaise society’s meaningful and pragmatic quests, while seeking triumph in his ability to check off every item society has placed for him on his to do list. I just wonder, if this boy will discover at the age of 70 that he misses doing things “Just Because”.
If this boy were to fall in love with a girl, he should be able to explain to his family and everyone who knows him exactly why he loves her. If he said “I love her …just because” then he would probably be told that there is no such thing as “Just because”.
People tend to forget that love in fact does happen “Just because”. You don’t wake up one day deciding that you will fall in love with a certain person because they fit the social criteria you have been looking for. You love them “Just Because” and regardless of how wrong or right society views your feelings.
Now, whether or not you act on these feelings is a totally different issue. Some people are brave enough to fight all the odds to be with the person they love “Just Because” while others teach themselves to believe that as mature adults they should not love people “just because” . They end up giving up on the whole story only to settle for an arranged marriage. After all, that is the safer option because now when someone asks them why they picked their partner, they would not say “Just Because” instead they would count all the good traits that their chosen partner has while leaving the person they loved “Just Because” to fade into the corners of their distant memories and lonely fantasies.
Let’s face it, in our world today, we find ourselves forced to explain everything and anything we do. In the very first job interview we sit for, we are asked “Where do you want to be in five years.” At this point, I can’t help but wonder if HR professionals really believe that they will get an honest answer to this question? Will a 22 year old who had just graduated from college really know exactly where he/she wants to be in five years?
Probably they won’t because this is a job this person is still trying to get, only to try to see if this is the career he/she wants. It could be that he/she doesn’t even know if this is what he wants to do for the rest of his life.
To avoid being called irresponsible, most people memorize model answers that career councilors have placed on the internet just to correctly respond to this pointless question. Let’s face it none of us really know at the age of 22, 32, 42, or even 52 where we really want to be in five years. Our ideas get clearer as the years go by, but truth be told, we might spend the rest of our lives searching for our true passions.
After all, we are socially conditioned to believe that we need to have goals, we need to have dreams, and we need to have hopes, and if we are doing things “Just because”, then the world will label us as people lacking in perspective.
To avoid this label, some people end up adopting someone else’s dream just to get the momentary sense of satisfaction that they are actually living for a purpose. After all, how many people study Medicine to save lives? How many people studying engineering do so because “They want to build better homes and better cities for the people in their community? The truth is, many 18 year olds go to college and study these majors because they are told they are good. Some people end up working as HR professionals just because they studied Business or English and they didn’t know what to do with themselves after graduating, and finally many women become teachers because it is a job that has convenient working hours.
However, if you ask those people why they are taking on the given career path they would not say “Just Because”, they will recite some memorized answer about the value their job has to the community.
In this world, you can’t even say “I like diet coke…just because” without someone pointing out that you are drinking it with a Big Mac and fries. Of course some people do know exactly what they are doing, and they do have a true passion for their life choices. It is these people who achieve true greatness, while the rest of us fight our inner demons.
It is my modest belief that we have lost the joy of doing things “Just Because” . Instead, we have decided to memorize answers that would give our lives meaning and propose. When you think about it, this is really sad because life’s beautify exists “Just Because”.
I’m writing this post about nothing “Just Because”