Our society considers certain things to be normal, but who decided what makes a normal life? Learn how you can ignore these stupid things and live a life that truly fulfills you.
Society expects us to toe the line, conform and behave like everyone else. After all, sheep are easier to control than wild animals, right? But unfortunately, society has decided that some stupid things are essential for a normal human being. It’s about time we called these stupid things into question and stopped judging others and ourselves for doing things a little differently.
Getting a ‘good’ education
Now don’t get me wrong, education is an excellent thing. But in our society, this means going to school, college and university to get degrees and honors. Nothing else will do, despite the financial pressure and debt this often causes. And to be honest, there are some people for whom this kind of education is just not right. Society believes that only knowledge gained in a classroom is valuable, but this is so far from true.
We can learn amazing things by travel and experiences, talking to others and just trying things out. You don’t need to be educated in a classroom and gain a degree to stand a chance of success and to be valued in society. Get your knowledge and wisdom in whichever way is right for you.
Having a proper job
At school, I once told my teacher I wanted to be a writer. She smiled and suggested that writing could be a good hobby but that I would never make a living from it. I still don’t understand why she told me this. Many people make a living from writing. But it made me fearful and crushed my dream. I had a variety of jobs once I left school, some fulfilling and some not so, but it took me years to come back to my dream. And then I found out that, though it is hard to make a living writing, it’s certainly not impossible.
It makes me wonder how many talented people have been put off of their dream because of the fears of teachers and career counselors. There may have been many talented people who chose a safer path because they feared a teacher was right. This is a crying shame. Our modern world needs big dreamers and we need our educators to support those big dreams.
So if you have ever been told to give up your dream and get a proper job, know that you don’t have to. You can have a career portfolio, be freelance or start your own business. You can have a job if you want to and if it makes sense for your career path, but having a proper job is not an essential.
Owning a nice house full of nice stuff and a nice car
Actually, none of these things gives us long-term contentment and joy. Of course, we need the security of a roof over our heads, but once we are comfortable, spending money on material things is often more about impressing others than pleasing ourselves.
Studies have shown that the way to happiness and contentment is to develop meaningful relationships, pursue meaningful goals and practice gratitude and appreciation. Studies also suggest that spending money on experiences provide more long-term happiness than spending it on material possessions.
Getting married, or at least managing a long-term monogamous relationship
Society implies that good, nice people have monogamous relationships. Anything else is just a little too sordid. This particularly applies to women. However, there is nothing in our biology that says this is the way we should be. Many other societies now and in the past have had very different ideas about love and sex.
There is nothing morally better about being married or in a long-term relationship. As with all things, it is up to the individual to find a way of living that is right for them.
Having children – preferably two
Society also seems to believe that we should all have children, preferably two. This is a ridiculous proposition that acts as if we are all the exact same person with the same passions and goals, and the same needs and desires.
We are all different and for some people having two children is perfect, others want fifteen and many people choose not to have children at all. In our over-populated planet, this is a sensible idea and I have no idea why anyone should be criticized or thought less of for this choice.
Again, women bear the brunt of this one. There is a suggestion that not having children or being maternal is unnatural. This is, of course, ridiculous. There are many examples of animal societies and human ones were not every female reproduces.
Over time, the stupid things that society expects from us change. After all, not so long ago women were expected to stay at home doing housework and looking after children. And until recently the only acceptable relationship was a heterosexual one. Perhaps some of the things society expects from us may change in the future.
We might look back at the things we do today and think what were we thinking? Just like we look back at corsets and crinolines and wonder why they chose to wear such uncomfortable impractical clothes.
There are many other stupid things that society expects from us and it can be hard to ignore them. We all want to be accepted and liked. We also want to feel like useful and valuable members of society. But there are many ways to achieve all of these things without giving up our individuality, passions, and dreams.