Sunday, July 7, 2013
Are you living for you?
The problem with people is they assume everyone wants the same things. As I talk to my friends and strangers, listening to their goals, I learn that they want to go down paths I wouldn't consider for myself and visa versa. But as individuals, and as a society, we tend to forget that it's perfectly acceptable for someone to want a different lifestyle from you.
For example, not everyone wants to get married and some people don't even want to be in a relationship. There's nothing abnormal about that decision. They have their reasons for not wanting one; and even they have no particular reason, it's still their decision and deserves respect.
Another example, not everyone wants to go to or even believes in higher education. Modern society has made it handy to have one, but classroom study does not suit everyone and not everyone has the desire to get a degree. There is no flaw in not wanting secondary education, especially considering the many successful people who didn't give college a single thought.
But try telling someone you plan to make different decisions from the accepted norm and you get skewed faces, long winded lectures or an outright argument. People have forgotten that we are not on this earth to conform to some definite way of living. We are here to try and make a life for ourselves that will bring us peace of mind and happiness and happiness is a very subjective thing.
No two people hold the same definition of happiness. It is something very personal. For instance, it would make my mother very happy to see me as a doctor. But it would make me miserable. I've decided to pick a field that she really has no interest in. She may not be happy about it, but she has no real right to deny me of my happiness.
However, I see parents, friends, and even strangers rob others of their chance to pursue happiness simply because it isn't what they want. I have friends getting degrees in industries that they can't stand and people being forced into lifestyles that their personalities are not suited for.
We don't all want to live in some chic LA apartment with our 6 best friends close at hand, throwing parties every weekend. Some would love that, but someone else would prefer a quiet country cottage surrounded by land and animals instead of people. Either way of life is perfectly normal. You may decide you'd be most content never settling anywhere.
Instead of giving people freedom to decide, society has given us a checklist to complete by a certain age and if for some reason we haven't done every acceptable thing we're considered failures.
This is one of the worst thing we have done to eachother. We are stripping people of their individuality and their right to have their own personal human experience. Life is actually very difficult when you have no sense of yourself. More and more I am meeting people who have no idea what they would like or what would make them happy because they have had little opportunity to explore it.
You have the right to make decisions that will suit you (as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else). Remember that there are billions of people who will never be able to make a single personal decision. Women in oppressed societies, people in tyrannical countries, they have no freedom to live for themselves. If you have even a small opportunity to create a life for yourself, take it! Don't hesitate because it's not what society deems acceptable or because it's different from your friends. Take the chance to be happy; live in way that works for you.