Tampering with the evidence is not good strategy. Facts should be allowed to speak for themselves. Manipulation by any other name is corruption.
Yet every day we see it, a common example being the tactic of aging people to change the colour of their hair. While this perfidy may be easily tolerated as a harmless deceit, we are less forgiving of people who have nose jobs, Botox injections or amplifications of body parts. At a certain juncture the deliberate attempt to alter one’s appearance is considered by many a distortion of the truth. The stock retort to the accusation is that nature is simply being helped along, that there is no need to suffer the indignity of what is reversible and that besides it’s nobody’s business if someone wants to improve themselves. While the latter objection is at least philosophically compelling and may indeed sustain the entire argument, my interest rather is in the less tautological thesis that nature may be improved.
Certainly both the physical and intellectual qualities of a human being are the better for their exercise and educated development. Eventually however the condition of a person is fairly unalterable; we can only be a work in progress for so long. Eventually we’re there. And when we’re there, I suggest it is time accept it. Granted change is perpetual but after a point the change is incremental only. Then it is time to get down to the business of being you.
It discombobulates some people to have alternatives. After all it is often the luckiest who have the privilege of choice and it is that very feature which incapacitates them. This conundrum arises from a misunderstanding of the limits of life. As broad as it may appear life is nonetheless circumscribed. In plain terms you can’t do everything; you have to make a choice.
I am a great believer in instinct, the intuitive response to things. This doesn’t mean that you must reduce the abstract elements of your being to questions of appetite; it means you follow your nose. Eventually we have saturated our experience sufficiently to know what we prefer and to whom we relate. What more could one ask for a compatible relationship? If we convey those preferences to people who care we have the makings of good communication. By the same token there will be cast-offs, people to whom we neither appeal nor relate. If you’re struggling to be heard in a noisy world, it doesn’t help to raise your voice. People will listen if they know it’s you. Your unique timber and take on things is what makes you different and interesting. If you make an attempt at anything else, who are you kidding!