A conversation yesterday made me think…….
Take a look at your life and see where it’s leading you. Do you feel you’re captive of an inescapable cycle of society’s unspoken dictations? I know I feel this way sometimes.
When I finished college, one of the first things I know I had to do without being told was to look for a job (that’s because I’m not planning to take further studies anytime soon or because I don’t have other reasons for not having the need to work) So if you’re like me, then you already know that work is what automatically follows your university days and it’s starting a family that comes after that. It’s been inculcated in us ever since we were kids. Remember these lines:
1)You have to study hard in grade school so you get to high school. You have to study hard in high school to get into a good college. You have to study hard in college to get a good job. And when you have a good job, then the money comes in.
2)What do you want to be when you grow up? You should be a doctor like dad or a lawyer like mom. (All hypothetical of course)
3)Oh, so you took Psychology because you want to be a…. psychologist? a teacher? a….what?
4)What are you going to do with a degree in Psychology. There’s no money there.
5)Friend: At what age do you want to get married? You: When I find the right one. But probably in my late twenties or early thirties, when I’m stable.
And the list goes on….
When I think about these things and have seen that I have also fallen into this cycle, I suddenly realize how trapped I feel. And because of this, I wonder if it’s possible to break free. And if it is possible, how exactly do I do so?
-Is it simply leaving aside what society has laid out for you? Is it just doing whatever it is you want to do? (Cruising the Mediterranean, going to the Swiss Alps, owning a beach house in Mexico….) It seems all too surreal. So, maybe,maybe not.
-Is it making a difference? Is it being the pioneer of some noble campaign and eventually getting your name on some plaque? Or if you’re lucky, even have your own statue? Maybe, maybe not.
-Is it putting up the biggest business empire and living the life you’ve only seen in your dreams? Having a mansion, being able to shop for your favorite car in different colors? Maybe, maybe not.
These things are fun to think about, but even more fun to dream about. But then it hits me that maybe these seem a little too unrealistic. But then I ask myself why some other person has done it and then I feel all depressed again.
What do we want anyway?
Do we even know?
Maybe we’ve just been taught the wrong things. What if these were more of the lines we used to hear? Maybe we’d feel differently about things.
1) You study hard because you are smart and you owe it to yourself to do so. But even if you don’t, you’re still special. It is not a measure of how intelligent I know you are. Maybe math is not your best subject, but you’re a terrific person.
2) You should do and be whatever it is you feel will make you happy because you are making a contribution to society.
3) Oh, so you took Psychology because you enjoy learning about how and why people are the way they are and act the way they act. In any profession, knowing psychology is important.
4) You have a good course. You will be able to help people with what you know.
6)Friend: At what age do you want to get married? You: When I meet the right person and feel I am responsible enough to keep a life-long commitment.
Don’t we wish that life was as simple as this?
Maybe it’s not about just doing what we want whenever we want it. Maybe it’s still working (maybe not something we particularly enjoy) but spending time figuring out what it is you really want even if it takes you more than half of your whole life time. Better late than never, right?
Maybe it’s not being the pioneer of a noble campaign but just being part of any campaign to help others. Be it through an NGO, or a Christian group, or a ministry. Think about this paradox: the more of yourself you give to others, the more whole you’ll become. Save some for yourself, of course. Don’t be a martyr.
Maybe it’s not putting up the biggest empire but just striving to sustain the lifestyle you want. Now whatever lifestyle you choose is your choice. The more unrealistic you are and the more you compare yourself to others’ fortunes, then the more miserable you’ll become.
Maybe it’s just finding the person that makes you happy and deciding that you want to be together forever.
Maybe it’s not raising genius, all-around children but rather, raising God-fearing children with a sense of love and service for others.
Maybe it’s just leaving everything to God who knows best. Doing our part of course, but trusting that whatever is happening in our lives is still a part of His grand plan.
=) =) =) Sound all too familiar, right? =) =) =)
Ooh, I’m a preachy preacher, Sorry. I have yet to live these out in my own life and even accept them. But then again, it’s worth a try. Hard work though..