I sympathize with those struggling with life. At the time very annoying, I chaffed at others who I saw as interfering with their useful suggestions or unwanted guidance.

Oh, I’d make changes and adjust, but my default would return. So, I sympathize. 

Sympathy, however, doesn’t change the scope of attempting personal improvement, a huge undertaking. Imagine, for argument, similarities between a vehicle and person. Each is complex with many parts and comes with a make-model (ethnicity) and birth year.

But which would be easier to remake, a person or car? A car should be less difficult, but can a Ford become a Ferrari?

One problem with the attempt circles around growth. People and vehicles age and wear out, but car don’t grow, starting out as a four-cylinder and growing into an eight. The aspect of growth alone makes, I think, redoing a living being orders and orders of difficulty than remaking a car.  

If you balk at the analogy and comparison you’ve good cause. The argument is not totally sound. But if the possibility of transforming a vehicle touches on impossible what might that say about trying the same with people? I don’t mean educating or informing. I mean actual alteration.

Partly to my point is the way “affirming” is used to describe changing or altering. I don’t affirm a red car by having it painted brown. Language used in misleading ways makes me suspicious. Is affirmation a process of one-two now you’re blue? I doubt it, so why the misdirection?  

I’ll go to language again as a possible culprit. An important distinction between person and machine is growth. A special kind of growth we call puberty. One simple little word for a goliath-size process. Seven letters come nowhere near reminding us this particular form of development can span from first blush of dawn to completion as much as a decade.

Do we consider puberty in terms of time? If so it’s not seconds, or minutes, or days or weeks. Its years if anything, but let’s say a decade is extreme. Cut it in half to five. Are you able to encapsulate or define your past five years into a general pattern?

You find one?

For myself, not too much, but I do have a general sense of COVID being more of a societal than health threat by taking away faces and smiles. As with the consequence of accepting affirming as a nicer way to say altering, a masked, depersonalized society was a gravely serious change.

For each individual person, maturation or development is equally the same as it is independently different. No one else is ever in your exact shoes during those years. No one. For me (my understanding) this means I trust no one else to make my decisions.

Furthermore, I’m dubious about guidance, but will listen, maybe. Why such hesitancy to accept and embrace promised opportunity?

Key word, promised.

Using the invalid but possibly useful vehicle comparison, I keep in mind that changing the VW bug into a dune buggy loses the VW. A useful sedan with top chopped to become a convertible is not a reliable ride in February.  

But what’s more important? To fret over facts or look to possibilities? It’s not (this is awkward) one over the other or one or the other. I think both are worthy of consideration.

Along those lines I came across a worthy position about two-spirit individuals found in indigenous and other cultures going far back in time. This is correct, but the assessment was made in a contemporary setting that I don’t believe takes into account what was going on in past cultures (something I suspect is near impossible to know, anyway).

Gender and reproduction in today’s point of view does not consider the not-so-distant past where half the children never made it to age ten, where simple bacterial infections could take out large numbers of people, where almost everyone was debilitated by parasites (especially intestinal worms) and so forth. When’s the last time you encountered a tape worm?

I’d guess that in the past gender and reproduction were very serious social and personal matters in ways we can guess at while keeping in mind we’re only supposing. We’re fairly confident altered genders and etc. were fairly widespread over time and cultures.

Why? As the norm or for a special purpose?

To me special purpose makes more sense, but to see how we have to step well back to look at other special purposes. I’ll bet the rituals and gender practices of cultures were meant to promote fertility, quite a different purpose from the modern take isn’t it?  

Not clear, though, is it? Take sacrifice, particularly human. When an important individual (can’t say man or woman, can we, because these days they’re identical) died their grave often included goods, animals and people to help sustain them in the beyond. It’s possible the grave was prepared and then everyone waited for the horse, spouse, servant, etc. to die before closing the grave. We might not approve, but that kind of sacrifice makes sense.

How about sacrificing children? Does that make sense to promote fertility and increase your society? No on one hand, but yes if the sacrifice is seen as special, the immature human form representing potential, purity and so on would be a special thing to offer the gods. In terms of authentic pre-European indigenous activity the largest child sacrifice seems to be South American group. The Aztec were pretty good at that, too, but mostly of prisoners.

Only a century ago China was dealing with thousands of eunuchs (a form of living sacrifice?) in the Forbidden City. I wouldn’t dare say what any of the past means in a current setting, but I think I’d be on safe ground betting the Chinese were not counting on their eunuchs to perpetuate the population and had possibly reached a point of two-hearted, eunuch over supply.  

There a point to be made? Sex-sexuality a basic to our condition. Of the things that could be said, I say, don’t mess it up. Remodeling from family sedan to sports coupe could end in something else.