Transition of Thoughts

Weaving thoughts into words

Do we ever live for ourselves?

We live to please our parents. We live to please our extended families. We live to please our partners. We live to please our bosses. We live to please our friends and colleagues. But do we ever really live to please ourselves? Do we try to do what makes us feel good? Do we try to keep ourselves happy? Do we try to actually LIVE a life?

From the time we are small, we are taught to listen to our parents. We eat what they say. We go to the school which they select for us. We go to the tuitions which they consider as best. Obviously we listen to them like obedient children because they would know the best considering their age and experience. But then, slowly but surely we start doing things just to keep them happy. We avoid any situation which would give them a bad impression about us. We also avoid doing anything which may give them a bad name in the society. Obviously there are many of us who start living dual lives where on one side we please our parents but on the other we fool them by partying hard and enjoying as if there is no tomorrow. But that’s beyond the point of this post.

When its the time to decide about marriage, there are so many of us who just agree to what our families tell us to do. Obviously who cares if we love a girl / guy. If he / she is from a different caste, religion, creed, then our parents and families would get a bad name, wouldn’t they? Thinking that pleasing our families is more important than our happiness, we agree to what they say. Obviously they would think the best for us, wouldn’t they?

In a relationship, we always try to keep the other party happy. Whether its buying gifts, roses, cards, going on dates, we try to ensure that our partners are always happy. Its only when the fairytale ends, do we realize that we never thought about ourselves at all.

Even in the corporate world, most of our lives end up trying to please our numerous bosses and colleagues. So many of us work with much dedication and devotion for our respective companies so much so that we even forget our own identities. But only when we leave or our sacked, do we realize our value. It’s then that things like our salaries, work profiles etc. hit us.

So why do we actually live for others? We live for others only for the reason that we feel they know much more and don’t want to hurt them. When our parents tell us what to do and what not to, we don’t like to answer back. Slowly and slowly though we end up forgetting what we want in our lives. We forget what we want to become and start living our parents dreams. Our families talk about marriages, customs and what not. But if we love someone, why don’t we have the guts to accept it? Why don’t we have the guts to tell our family as to what we want in life? Again, its not about guts but instead about keeping everyone happy. By the time we realize that we aren’t happy, its too late.

A relationship is not about keeping one person happy. It’s about how both the individuals feel. It’s about how the two different personalities bond with each other. It’s about how two individuals take the different decisions in life. If a person isn’t happy enough, why is he there in the relationship in the first place? Is it all about gifts, flowers and roses? Or is it just some timepass to please the other sex?

The corporate world is about working for the development of your company. It’s about pleasing your bosses. It’s about working to improve the response to the client. But then its also about working to improve ones appraisal. It’s also about working hard to keep ones salary in sync with his / her market value. It’s about continuously improving ones skills to stay ahead of the others.

These are just a few examples I have taken to show the way we live to please others. Many of us don’t do all this anymore and have become much more confident about what we want. But for thousands of others who still live such a life, I have only one suggestion.

“Don’t leave it till too late. When time comes, you maybe too old to live for yourself!”

PS: One of my friends just pointed out that pleasing others could be the greatest pleasure for many. Yes I agree that there are a lot many like that and I respect their views. But this particular post is for those who just live like this only as some sort of compromise!

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12 Comments

  1. One bad situation is to live someone elses dream rather than your own.

    • aseemrastogi2

      Oh seriously that’s a really bad situation. So many parents try to live their dreams through their children and that leads to total disaster.

  2. Pleasing others is not what evveryone like. People do it; but trust me their hearts dont agree to it at all. The so called SOCIETY norms make them do it.

    Living for oneself; who doesnt want to do that? Lovely post. Though for the philosophical part of it; you could have improved the post a little bit more. Just a suggestion : )

    • aseemrastogi2

      Yeah as I said mostly people do it to just keep others happy or as you mentioned out of “Societal Norms”. But maybe there could be quite a few people who live a selfless life like say the ones who live for charitable causes to help others etc.

      Nice to know you liked my post :). Yeah the philosophy was a bit less I agree :). Still learning from you, you see :). But maybe my idea of talking more thru examples was seen here than anything else.

  3. Saurabh

    Wonderful Post Dost 🙂 🙂

  4. Living for oneself is not plausible. Obligations to society takes on many shapes and forms; while one can argue that relationships are formed between two people the effects can impact not only close family relatives but friends as well. A rippling effect.

    Life is sacrifice, from clothing, to education, to marriage, life is compromises that keep society happy.

    As Sonia in the play Uncle Vanya (authored by Anton Chekov) says:

    “We shall live through the long procession of days before us, and through the long evenings; we shall patiently bear the trials that fate imposes on us; we shall work for others without rest, both now and when we are old; and when our last hour comes we shall meet it humbly, and there, beyond the grave, we shall say that we have suffered and wept, that our life was bitter, and God will have pity on us.” http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1756/1756-h/1756-h.htm

    This is all my opinion however.

    • aseemrastogi2

      I don’t quite agree on the fact that living for oneself isn’t plausible. Yes there are obligations to society, parents, friends, families etc. But even while staying and living through those obligations and trying to keep everyone happy, one shouldn’t forget that he / she is living a life as well. What is life without one doing what he / she likes? What is life without achieving what one dreams to achieve? What is life where one lives another person’s dreams?

      Yes I am sure that there are many people who dedicate their lives selflessly to help others. But its very difficult for a vast majority to do that. Probably the lines you have quoted are for those people who live selflessly. But can everyone live like that. I am not saying one shouldn’t please others. But its not either this or that. There needs to be some kind of balance of both. And that’s what one needs to try to do.

      Because regretting later on wouldn’t bring the old times back.

  5. You dont have to learn anything from me.. You have your own different style of writing, as you correctly said by giving examples.. So yeah; that’s what people in India understand better actually; unko demo dikhana padta hai :p

    • aseemrastogi2

      Yeah but it should be a balance. I know the demo part not the philosophical part :P. So that’s what has to be learnt :). Hahah! Am sure a lot many understand philosophy also and that’s why you have been able to benefit a lot of your readers like me :).

  6. Abhishek

    Good one though i do not agree fully on each of your examples. At times we are not sure what we want and so we live for our parents, partners, bosses etc……
    Guess some people just find their happiness in making others happy……….:)

    But well written…..

    • aseemrastogi2

      Oh yeah one does have to live for others at various times in life. But what I meant is one doesn’t have to just sacrifice his life for others. There’s a balance which is needed in life and that’s what one should try to achieve rather than either of the two extremes.

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