Beyond Societal Constraints
Society has always burdened itself by setting a set of rules or few chosen paths for everyone to follow and it becomes a reference point of measure for all of us. It has its own idea of what constitutes success, what constitutes right and evil, and we are all subject to it. From its viewpoint, we evaluate both ourselves and others.
We try to live up to social expectations and try so hard to achieve goals set by it and further measure our performance by its standards. We adhere to these expectations, live by them, and take part in it without considering whether doing so was what we wanted to accomplish.
The point is not whether society’s norms and expectations are right or wrong, but rather that they are one-dimensional and limited when in reality, ideas and opportunities are infinite. And in the face of these demands, we lose our sense of individuality and uniqueness.
There are different ways to live a life than the standard set by the society, different ways to be successful,or be an individual. It is up to each person to judge what is good or bad for themselves and determine what success looks like to them.
Imposing our own personal beliefs, standards or even ways of life upon one another stunts growth and blocks the possibility of a positive change one could bring about when he/she does things that he/she is passionate about which is not so much the case when you operate in society default’s mode.
“Cultural norms exist for a reason – there is nothing wrong with a society that offers models of what a fulfilling life might look like. But if we take on these goals without reflection, we’ll never understand why we don’t own a home or we’re not happy where we live, why our job feels hollow, whether we even want a spouse or any of the goals we’re striving for”
—Jay Shetty, Think like a Monk
If we look at those who achieve great success, people who changed the world for the better, people who become an inspiration, legends we call them. They are the ones who rebel against society. They are committed to achieving their goals and are clear about what they want and persist through all judgments and criticisms.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
It is true that we cannot always control or choose the circumstances we were born into nor avoid the societal norms that had been already established. However, if we question the reality we are in and keep an open mind to listen and understand others whose reality or belief differ from ours, I believe we will change the society norms to a diverse one rather than a limiting one.