Last-minute Christmas shopping with dad was a fond tradition. I remember buying the neatest of contraptions for mother: Jewels. Her first cell phone which was really for dad. And that size 8 dress, back when they were today’s size 4. Too snug on her cute Italian frame, she didn’t talk to dad for days! #TypicalStoryGirl

One of the greatest lessons of my life happened during one of our shopping sprees. It was Christmas Eve, at Kmart. I was nine. Dad, searching through colourful piles of sweatpants and sweatshirts, wanted a perfect gift for mother. A snotty, fashion-obsessed child, I exclaimed, “Um, who would seriously buy this stuff?”

I remember the retort like it was yesterday.

And a woman, likewise scavenging through the piles of sweat clothes, looked at me. Her hand, lingering inches from the material, her eyes, welling with tears, I didn’t understand what I had done. Yet I knew it was something terrible.

My father, apologising to the woman, led me away. He told me that some families could only afford sweats for their loved ones. He told me that not everyone had money.

From that day forward, I’ve never judged a single solitary thing. Not a fashion label. Not a human being. Not conditions in the world. I only judge myself, maintaining the highest of standards established for me. Yes, I bleed highly on the system of capitalism. Yes, I defy entitlement. Yes, I defy socialism (yet my best human friend is one, ha!).

So I believe that’s where confusion exists in the philosophy about which I write and my readers’ interpretation of it. I cannot accept a system that flows against my principles. But I shan’t judge it either. It exists. So do I. Capitalists are selfish. Bulimics are selfish. Image-obsessed individuals are selfish. Women unwilling to bear children are selfish. Bla bla bla. So I am selfish, yes? No.

At yesterday’s post, I was challenged on yes, the subject of fashion. I admitted, because of a heavy work-related lifestyle, to not owning something acceptable for a first date. Something acceptable for me. And a reader commented,

“Well, I’m not going to lie, I’m shocked that you don’t even have a decent purse. This entire time I thought you were actually a ‘fashionista’ but it turns out you are completely full of it. I envision you buying clothes at Walmart with coupons now.”

My response, typed brashly at a red light,

“Your comment disgusts me. A person can shop wherever they like. Walmart fashion does not make one any less of a human being and therefore fashionista.”

And so readers wanted to know more. They wanted to know more about my social awareness. And my Kmart story is the more. That little CoExist bumper sticker that one sees everywhere? Yes, if I liked bumper stickers, it would appear directly beside my “Who is John Galt.”

I don’t give a damn about changing the world. But I hate bullies.

So please, don’t bully anyone or anything at my blog. It shan’t be tolerated. Instead, find something positive to say, catalysing constructive discussion. If my posts anger you, do a vinyasa first. Even just a downward dog. Yoga makes everything better. Nobody deserves to be a target. And you deserve more than negative energy. Coexist with happiness, and your hearts will be lighter. I promise. Have a good day, and namaste. :)