Assignments, work, studies and a million other thoughts on my mind, and it looks messier than my table. For the time being, let me keep it all aside, to pen down just this question and perhaps ponder over it for a minute or two!
Did I live the way I wanted it to be? Did I heed what my heart echoed? Did you? If not, then:
As children, we were all perfect. No worldly worries ever marred us. As we grew up, we adopted fears from the world around us. We wanted our parents to love us, we wanted our siblings to adore us. We wanted to be accepted in our so-called friend circle. We wished the society respected us and that our neighbours would hold us in high regards. So, we moulded ourselves to be like what they want, took on their fears, beliefs and false assumptions. In the name of the love we craved, we put to death the life we loved.
We let this LKK syndrome develop in us. “Log Kya Kehenge”, the disease to please others, a desire to seek approval, a disease so acute and chronic that it can rob you of your peace of mind.
Ah! What will they think if I chose an arts subject instead of a professional degree course? Oh my god! I’ll no longer be ‘cool’ to my friends if I reveal to them my love for a piece of classical music! What will people say about my parents if they see me going out with friends in the night?
Let me tell you a story about Mulla Nasrudin. He and his son were travelling with their donkey, with Nasrudin walking, while his son sat on the donkey. As they passed a group of bystanders, one of them scoffed, “Look at that selfish boy. The hale-and–hearty young son is riding on the donkey while his poor old father is forced to walk alongside. What disgraceful behavior!” Mulla Nasrudin and his son felt so embarrassed by these comments that they quickly switched places. But, comments never ended! People abused the father this time. To avoid anybody else’s scorn, both he and his son at together on the donkey. Whatever the two did, someone or the other found fault and made fun of them! Remember, he who tries to please all, pleases none.
At some point in life, we all have to consider the not-so-important, random opinions people throw our way; we must decide our own priorities!
I’m sure that a little poet dies a million deaths when made to choose a professional degree over literature. It’s same way a chef, a dancer, a photographer, a fashion designer or a footballer feels when they’re made to do something else. What would my family say if I revealed my passion for something society doesn’t approve of? I’m worried about what my neighbours would say behind my back if I wear my favouriteshort tops. Am I supposed to save them for a beach in a distant country? And even then, make sure no one gets to see the photos?
It’s time we realise the bitter truth—people will keep talking about you, no matter what you do. We might be bad in someone else’s book, but remember what someone else thinks of you doesn’t make you a bad person!
Dreams, they are meant to be fostered. Not to be slain as we mature! Free advice and comments actually come with a hidden price—confusing you and making you doubt your confidence. Filter them. Listen to the ones that help you grow. The rest is garbage! And the result? Happiness!
As it goes, it’s difficult to find happiness in yourself, but it’s impossible to find it anywhere else. Self love is the key! Life undoubtedly goes out of control if the key to our happiness and peace is with someone else. We turn into puppets controlled by external circumstances. That’s a serious mistake! At many times, it’s nothing but the fear of failure that makes individuals second-guess an activity even before they start.
What would the society think, if I pursue a non-conventional course at college, and, as a result, don’t get a good job? Will I be mocked if my new venture doesn’t take off well? Are they going to make me the butt of all their jokes if I fumble during my speech on stage? A pinch of pessimism might be essential for preparing yourself, but letting it grown any more, and you have to nip it in the bud.
Whether you’re a social butterfly or a lost-in-your-world introvert, it doesn’t matter. The public speaker, the entertainer, artist, the ‘nerd’—be you. Love yourself, endlessly, unconditionally. And most importantly, believe! Believe that we are beautiful just the way we are.
The next time the question “Log Kya Kehenge?” swims up like a long-tentacled octopus in your face, listen to your inner voice, seek your own approva.
“Kuch toh log kahenge, logon ka kam hai kehna.”
Writing this article, I myself began wondering what people might say about it, whether anyone would even read it, so on and so forth. But I’ve written it. And I’m just glad and proud that I’m conquering my LKK syndrome 😉