Don’t Let Society Decide Who You Are

Hello to you,

So what are my thoughts today? There’s always a lot I could say, and only a little that I’m really connecting with at any single moment in time. Today, though, I’ve got it.

A huge part of being human has always been about social status. Who’s worth more, who’s worth less? (That’s how we view quite a few things actually.) There are a few powerful people, the “elite,” and then there’s the rest.

We worry about what others think of us. We go so far as to base our worth on the opinions of people we may not even know. Getting approval and being accepted feels good, and society has taught many of us that that is the only way to do so. It’s such a huge mistake, but it still happens all the time.

People

Imagine if they were all looking up to you with amazement and love? It’s that kind of fantasy that leads many of us to live our lives focusing on making that happen. It’s a waste of time – there are more important things to strive for. (Photo credit: ThisParticularGreg)

It makes sense why we let that kind of thing occur. Many, many people are desperate for the love and attention that they lack in their lives, and getting the material approval from someone else, anybody else, counts. In reality, all that does is puff one’s ego and false sense of confidence up, and that won’t last. But a huge portion of our population does not realize that they’re trying to make themselves feel better based on some image that in no way reflects themselves.

Who has the coolest hair style? Newest clothes? Best car? Most lavishly designed house? How about an old fashioned, who has the most money? These are the things that seem to draw attention, and naturally they’re sought after. In the process, one is likely to leave behind “who they really are,” as “who one is” probably won’t correspond with the image they’re striving to create as a part of themselves. Thus, these material things dictate who you’ll be… which is completely backwards and leads to inevitable disaster.

The more you conceal who you are, the unhappier you’ll be. Not only is it constantly demanding your energy and attention, to adopt a facade at all times, but you’re not really showing your true brilliance, the brilliance of you. When you live life as yourself, you will find your true priceless friends, the people who accept you for yourself. Not the money, or style, or status that you have. Just who you are.

Sadly, though, we’re living in a world where the most materially appealing have the spotlight at all times. Change starts with yourself.

I recognize that it’s tough to forgo all forms of ego-driven objects. With them comes not only material pleasure, but often times also material approval/acceptance. It’s a part of who we are in this stage of our spiritual journey. Eventually, I believe we will have to move beyond the materially binding and essentially worthless desires, but they’re not something to be suppressed. It all takes time, and for now, just gradually increasing awareness of where your ego is taking you and what your wants are based off of society is what needs to be done. Keep it simple.

Wanting approval is a part of life, and let’s face it, it’ll take time to make the switch out of material dependence and trust in one’s self more and more. In the mean time, though, a slight change will go a long way:

“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”

Johann Kepler

At the end of the day, what’s really worth more? I personally would say that the “approval of the masses” is a hugely tempting prospect, but a single intelligent man that I respect and want to impress will have more important opinions, and his values will be similar to the things that are important to me (or else I probably won’t be trying to impress him). Of course, eventually I won’t even need his approval. I’ll have my own.

–mrprose

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Let Society Decide Who You Are

  1. I think the more worrisome type of conformity (for lack of a better word here) is the personality. It comes in agreeing with whatever you’re ‘supposed’ to and saying what you’re ‘supposed’ to and making up your character and very identity to match what it’s ‘supposed’ to be. There is an alarming number of people in the world who can’t be alone with themselves, they must constantly be socializing or plugged into some form of comunication or media. Because they don’t know who to be without input. That goes beyond material things into a whole new and scarier level that can often be invisible. I’d like to see what you think about that type of society control because it is most definitely out there and spreading like wildfire but going eerily unnoticed. Teens often joke about a zombie apocalypse, but if you ask me, we are right in the middle of one.

    • Wow, I can’t believe I missed this comment. Well, I think you’re absolutely right, and when I get to it, I’ll see if I can write a piece on it and show it to you. It’s very true that a lot of people simply cannot be without some sort of comfort. People are afraid to be by themselves, and we have to change that, because loneliness is often a part of life. In my piece, The Worst Kind of Loneliness, I sort of touch upon it, although I could go into more detail about it. I’ll absolutely think about it further.

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