The most frequent advice one gets from their family and friends is to be themselves. What does that even mean? One should do what their intuition tells them to do. Well, how does one know if what their intuition is telling them is right or wrong? An optimistic theory states that people are originally good and can do no wrong if they are true to themselves, that is, listening to their instinct. What is right for one may not be right for another. Who decides what is right and what is wrong anyway? Society does. We are told to be ourselves and not care what the people around us tell us to do. Self-contradictory, isn’t it?
The only time when humans can truly be themselves is their childhood. Growing up teaches them that they need to ‘fit in‘. They have to consider what the society may think of their actions. After all, man is a social being. One cannot really go against the society to be true to their self. Acceptance is a basic human need.
We do not realize how society shapes us. One is not born with their values, moral, beliefs and opinions. All of this depends on the society. Society has this constrain over everyone, yet no one realizes it as we are brought up to be habituated to it. We follow the norms without even knowing it. Only when one tries to emerge out of it, they feel the constrain.
We are asked to behave in front of people from a very early age. Even when we are feeling down, we are asked to stick a fake smile on our faces. Society dictates which movies, sitcoms, books and movies we should like or dislike. We follow the same fashion trend. If one chooses to be brave and differ, other members of the society are always ready to criticize.
And yet, we are all unique in our ways. Maybe, there are some things that cannot be controlled by an external force. Maybe, there are some who get to break free. Maybe there is hope after all.