Will we always live in the LKK syndrome? Okay, don’t get confused! It’s neither a psychological term nor a scientific one! LKK stands for “Log Kya Kahenge” syndrome, meaning “What will people say?”
If you want to be happy, you must always try and ensure that you live your life in such a way that your happiness is dependent upon things in your control. If it is dependent upon things beyond your control, you will be a puppet in the hands of other people, a slave to external circumstances, and you will have to dance to the tune of outside entities. Similarly, if you are obsessed with seeking approval from others, always worried about pleasing others, and your actions are guided by what other people would think or say, if you are overwhelmed by the LKK syndrome, it looks like you may have then fallen prey to the Disease to Please.
Now, this LKK syndrome has killed more dreams than anything else in this world! It has stopped many people from pursuing their dreams. For most of my life, the fear of what other people thought of me had kept me trapped, preventing me from reaching my full potential and from enjoying life to its fullest. I couldn’t bring myself to dance in public for fear that people would point and laugh. At school, I was unable to voice my opinions, fearing someone would think they were stupid. In college, even making a presentation in front of my friends became a struggle as my mind ran wild with images of people talking about and laughing at me as I walked by them. I lived a half-life. I knew I was missing out. I also knew I had so much more to contribute to this world. But I was paralysed by the fear of putting myself out there and being rejected and ridiculed. And so the ‘real me’ remained cocooned. I knew he was there, I knew who he was, but fear kept him trapped. But two months ago, things began to shift. Filled with an increasing sense that I wasn’t living my purpose, and a vast emptiness from the lack of meaning my life seemed to have, I quit my comfort zone in search of answers, determined to live a more fulfilling life. I made a commitment to myself to face each and every one of my fears and to find a way to reconnect with the ‘real me’ and let him out into the world. These last two months of my life have been challenging, as I commit every day to living a little further outside my comfort zone. But being in that space of discomfort and crossing the threshold from fear to courage has led to the fulfillment I craved. I realise just how much I’m capable of. Me writing this post is the best example!
This post is specially dedicated to young girls who are ambitious, but are held back by the fear of LKK. To all those girls out there, I know it’s not easy to break free, but you have to fight for what you want in life. I know you are burdened with huge responsibilities. I completely understand that you keep in mind your parents’ dignity. I know you want to keep their flag of respect and dignity flying high. But in this orthodox society, you sacrifice your dreams! For what? How does what people think concerns you? Girl, why do you even pay heed to them? They will think whatever they want about you. So why the devil do you lose your peace over such a petty thing? Let them say and think whatever they want to. Follow your dreams and fulfill them, think big, dream big and fight for what you want in life. With an indomitable will, you will be able to rise against all odds. Be different, be unique, just follow the crowd! It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living, said Eckhart Tolle.
Now this is for you to think about. Everything in this society has a weighing system. People weigh how much they love and care. They even weigh what other people will say about them! Many times you have wanted to do something in your life that is not normally accepted in India. For example, choosing a career in the Arts does not make your life pointless. People say “Humara beta engineer ya doctor banega”, because they don’t realise that creativity and creating art is a science in itself. So go make a career in dance, painting, photography or anything else that makes your heart sing! Break the chain! Go back to college to get another degree if you wish to! Or change your job or field if you are unhappy with it. Run, scream, laugh, cry with joy. Get tattoos or piercings, they do not make you a bad person. How does it matter whether you wear tight or baggy clothes, or too much makeup or all you want to do is travel the world alone when the people around you are gasping at the thought of you dropping out of med school?
Politicians will say “Men make mistakes. Ladkon se galti ho jaati hai.” Such nice people, right? But have one tattoo declaring your beliefs on your arm, and the pathway to hell has already started burning up below your feet.
So, dear reader, the next time you are hit by the Disease to Please, just remember:
Will we always live constrained and the restricted life surrounding our responsibilities and society?
Will we always sacrifice our dreams to maintain our relationships?
Will we change our style just to fit in, even if we find it appalling?
Will we quit our morals and values for the sake of a fad?
Will you regret your choices on your death bed or pass through life contentedly and happily?
The choice is yours. Be bold. Be beautiful. Remember the lyrics of that meaningful song from the movie “Amar Prem”.
“Kuch toh log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna…“