The whole of Indian society suffers from LKK syndrome, “Log Kya Kahenge” (What will people say). The irony is that we are so concerned about “the people” and “society”, we forget that we too are part of it
I once read that a new teacher is concerned about what the students think of them, while at the same time the students also worry about the impression they make on the teacher.
We usually say our childhoods are the happiest days of our life. Yes! We didn’t have too many opinions, we didn’t overthink things, we were not concerned about what others might think. Life was smooth and easy.
Issues start when a highly impulsive, creative, and emotional teenager finds it difficult to play by society’s set rules and starts questioning everything. And soon the smooth roads we grew up with turn rough. And then on those words “log kya kahenge” start following him a teenager around. Wherever we go, whenever we speak, and even in the clothes we pick. If a young woman buys a short top for herself, the immediate words from mother will be LKK. If she reaches home ‘late’, after 6pm, LKK is already standing by the door. I have a friend who never eats noodles outside. Why? Because it’s messy and difficult to eat, and “log kya kahenge…”
Yes, one should always think from everybody’s perspective before doing something. But one should know where to draw the line. It’s like taking medicine as prescribed by a doctor to cure an illness helps us correct our mistakes, improve our work, bring out the best in us. However, just like an overdose, over-concern can be lethal.
There are many people with great talent, potential and passion, who ended up in a corner just because they feared what “the people” would say. There may be a million creative hearts that took the science stream in school just because “the people” don’t appreciate Arts as a profession. There will be heaps of dreams crushed and thrown away for the fear of LKK.
After years of being trained in the art of LKK, that emotionally driven teenage becomes nothing but a dried out tree, without any colour, without a soul, without any dreams or passion—just a puppets in the hands of “the people”. What else can can you expect from a person who was never taught to stand up for their passions. They will always remain servile to others, always trying to please everyone.
But how can you make anyone happy when you are not ? How can you satisfy someone when they don’t want to be. My mother once told me this story about a teacher who punished her student for not doing the homework. The next day he did the homework and showed it to the teacher but was again punished, because his work was not neat. The third day the teacher was happy seeing that the boy and completed his work neatly, but still she punished him! Why? She said: “Inspite of a hundred good deeds you might have done, the world always searches for that one black mark. This time I was not punishing you, I was just moulding you for that world outside.”
As it is said, one who tries to please everyone can never please anyone. I once read a quote by someone that really struck me. It said: “A different version of you exists in the minds of everyone who knows you.” So stop trying to be perfect, because you can never be everyone’s idea of “perfect”.
I don’t mean to say you shouldn’t be concerned about what others say. But from all the advice people give you, accept only those that help you to grow and achieve your dream. Its just one beautiful life that you have got, so live it to the fullest; live your dreams, follow your passion, listen to your heart, choose the best and be the best in what you do, and let “the people” continue to say what they want—because maybe that’s what they do best.