[VoxSpace Life] Live But Don’t Let Live – The Society Says So

Society’s Control On Us

All of us, every Indian, live our whole lives with principles that are imprinted in the back of our minds, that we do not even care to think about. We have all our lives done things without even thinking if they were what we actually wanted. Instead, we were and are absolutely faithful to the imaginary ‘society handbook’ to even take the smallest of the decisions. From making friends to choosing a career, from getting married to having children, from the college we choose to the country we should live in, and not forgetting the most significant issues like what to eat and what to wear, we follow the handbook.

Why should the society decide for us what to do and what not to do? It is absolutely because we allow it to do so. Every one of us is influenced by the society and we cannot help it. We are, indeed, autonomous individuals but we do not act like one. We are constantly being governed by the people around us. They play the most dominant role in shaping our innate character and what we are today is predominantly because of other’s influence.

Let’s look into those rules that we mindlessly abide by, to be socially accepted by the society.

You Must Try To Impress People

Impressing people is the first thing every Indian is taught right from their childhood. Remember, we were asked to recite rhymes and numbers in front of our nana-nani, dada-dadi, chacha-chichi, mama-mami and even padosi when we were not even two. Wasn’t it to impress them? As we grow, we are expected and at times, even demanded to impress everyone around us – sometimes to fit into the group, and sometimes just to get what we want. Even after mastering the art of impressing people, there are always people who are not impressed enough with us. This brings us to realizations that we are not created to impress others but to find the purpose of our living and pursue it.

Good Grades Make You Intelligent

Good marks are considered to be the evidence of our intelligence. Children who do not do well in exams are labelled as ‘dull’, ‘weak’ and ‘poor’. Intelligence is found in a lot more places than just exams, tests and quizzes. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, dropped out of college at the age of 19, which did not stop him from doing what he did. Sachin Tendulkar, the Cricket Legend, studied only till 10th and that never made us doubt his potential as a cricketer. Aishwarya Rai, Miss World 1994 and an actress, left her architecture course to pursue her dream in modelling and the rest is history. I believe, each one of us has the potential, but in different areas. It is all about finding it and proving yourself in that field.

Your Dressing Defines Your Character

The time’s changing and so are the people. Even with great advancement in technology and people, as a whole, the judgement about the dressing hasn’t changed much through the years. In a country like India, what you wear decides, almost, all the major decisions in life – if she is fit to be their bahu, if she is eligible for a job, whether she is sanskaari or not, and not to forget if she should be raped. In a nutshell, it can be explained as – ‘the way you will be treated is directly proportional to the dress you wear.’

Beauty Merely Lies In Complexion

The perpetual increase in advertisements that advocate the idea of becoming fairer to look beautiful is the confirmation that all of us believe that complexion is the ultimate benchmark for beauty. Who and what defines beauty? The constant struggle to fit into the beauty standards the society laid has had a negative effect not only on women but also on men. Physical appearance is no guide to a person’s character and what makes me angry is that most of us are not happy or comfortable in our own skin. I am not fair, but I am proud of it, so should every one of you be.

Chase Your Dreams (But We’ll Tell You How)

Image result for picking a major by society

It is ironic that the society asks us to follow our hearts and achieve what we want to, but only after they tell the path to it. We are asked to pick the college we want to go, but do not have the liberty to choose our major. Our major should be chosen only if it is picked by a majority of people. This system applies in every phase of our lives. We are asked to do what makes us happy only if it fetches you money. We are made to believe that there is a constant conflict between being happy and earning money and that we cannot have both. That is the sole reason why those who take paths that are least travelled are branded as ‘less successful’. The truth is we can have both – be happy and make money. There is nothing called less successful and let no one make you believe that.

People Around You Define You

If not all, most of us are in the constant fear of this popular thought – ‘log kya kahenge’ or ‘what are they going to think?’ This question is passed from generation to generation and so is the apprehension that someone is constantly controlling our behaviour. There is a question that we need to ask ourselves to counter that thought – ‘who are they and how is their thinking going to affect my life?’ The reason we, involuntarily, allow others to control our behaviour is that we allow it to happen. If we continue to believe what we always believed, we will continue to act how we always acted. No one knows you better than you and that implies no one can define you.

This Is The Only Way To Succeed

There is a ‘mantra’ that acts as a ground rule for success. From the time we are children, we are given the route map of our whole life – study well, get a job, make a good career, earn a lot of money, own a house, get married, have lots of children, live a normal life. And the saddest part is that we are made to believe that this is the ONLY way to be successful. There are a lot of people out there that did not have a good career, or are not married, or didn’t have children, or didn’t earn a lot of money, or didn’t own a house and are still successful and also people who have had all these and don’t consider themselves successful. Success cannot be a proof of any of these because each one of us is unique and so is our ‘mantra’.

It is time that we stop buying everything the society sells and start to think for ourselves. It is time that we adjust and alters those rules so that they fit into your definition of happiness and success. We don’t have been in constant fear of not being able to fit in a group when we can create one for ourselves. And only in this case, I would like to add, ‘unless we break the rules, we cannot have fun.’