“Your locus of identity lies exterior to yourself”, said a character on the popular TV series, The Big Bang Theory. This particular line stuck on and I wondered if that was actually true for most people including me.
Does our whole being exist for ourselves or for the justification by others? Do we define ourselves as what others think we are or do we believe in what we are irrespective of the world’s opinions? The former struck me as particularly true in many people I have met so far. They vanquish their opinions only to replace them with the more-socially accepted ones. They like something or choose a particular path just because the world approves of it. More often than asking themselves” Do I like it ?”, They often think of “ What will the world think of me if I do it?”. Do we mould our behavior because we are perceived to be of a certain type? Do we hide our anger, fake compliments or even do things because the society usually demands this of us ? In some cases it may be required, but till what extent?
I do agree that we are social beings and have to be accepted by society in order to survive. But in many cases, this question of being accepted by society gets to such levels that a person loses his/her identity. As far as I go, I have always been very independent in my thoughts. Worn and spoken whatever I have liked to, told the people I admire that I do and even openly confessed to liking people and telling them bluntly despite the societal norms being otherwise. This has led to many sticky situations, finger-pointing and embarrassing moments between me and the people concerned but I do not regret any of them. I do listen to people, take people’s advice and take a calculated decision when it comes to the greater things in life, but I seldom seek the approval of the masses for trivial things.
The reason I have tagged this post as a girl talk, is because more often than not, I find women succumb more easily to this habit. They are more influenced by peers and often take approval of their friends in matters where it really depends on the person concerned only making it very difficult for the person at the other end. From simple things to choosing what clothes to wear to whether they should go out on a date or talk to a so-n-so, they take the approval of their pals. I wonder in such times, is societal recognition the sole purpose of our existence? I want to ask them that is it not them who the person is interested in? Does the person at the other end really want your friends’ opinions or your choices?
‘The mark of an educated mind is to entertain a thought without accepting it”, says a popular quote. This is one thing I want to implement within myself.
I think we all should try and keep this locus of identity within ourselves. It is only then everyone will know the real you and not a mish-mashed,garbled version of the opinions of a hundred others around you.
This xkcd strip sums it up brilliantly!
PS: I just remembered, I think I have read a similar post on Pankaj’s blog a while back. No wonder the words in Big Bang sounded so familiar!