Back to Being What Is Expected and the Devil within Carefully Concealed

Conforming to social norms is what we do in this life isn’t it? We live for others and/or live thinking what will they think if we do this or that. When are we ever going to be who we are and be damned with the rest? I mean in a socially acceptable way, as in do no harm to others, speak no evil, see no evil and hear no evil sort of way. Respect, help each other and all other integral humane qualities inherent, yet just live the life we want to live and not worry about what the neighbours or others might say.

If you are someone living and doing exactly what you want and not fussed about the opinion of others in your life, be it family, friends, colleagues or whoever then count yourself extremely lucky. And keep on living your life the way you want to and don’t let even age mellow you to give in to what is expected and not necessarily what is essentially you.

We buy a house or a car and try to outshine the people we know in life to look better than them in their acquisitions rather than take pride in ours and take care of it and be happy about what we got.

After all these pleasing of others, ultimately we all die and the ones who can honestly say “woohoo what a ride that was?” are the lucky ones.

Just a thought that came to mind after my last couple of posts. People create an image in their minds which could be one facet of multifaceted personalities we all have.

If we believe people to be the facet we see them in, then this world will be one hell of a dull place full of boring people.



24 comments so far

  1. Nishadha on

    I think theres a cycle to this as well. As you said we all want to live the life as we see fit , but when doing so we mustn’t hurt others as well.When we start living in the not acceptable way we might not give a damn about what others say , But our parents might , and in a country like SL where everybody is connected one way or another this is a big issue.

  2. mia on

    Yes, I agree,it is a fine line when I say live the life we want to live and be damned with the rest. Especially the part where you said “But our parents might” again that is because of our constant “what will others say/ think” Maybe I am this anti because that was my mother’s mantra when I was growing up and she is no better now. Only difference is I tell her “who cares?” now 🙂 No I don’t hurt her she knows me only too well and she knows I won’t listen either way now.
    I have too many experiences in life to know not all people think like that and those people on the outer are extremely content with life than the ones who always think of what others might say.

    Not just in SL here too people are connected. The Italians and Greeks are worse than us (or same as us)in that regard.

  3. ~ lo$t $oul ~ on

    some of us are blessed with the power to rebel and become who we want to be. But wht we don realise when we rebel against the system is that its one against too many, the price is too large to take up sometime.. yet we rebel with our cause.. life life the way you want to..

  4. chaarmax on

    To be truly free.. I think you need to be handicapped.. Blind and Deaf.. Then you’d live life the way you see it.. But is that really living? I dunno it’s philosophical.. Ok.. so you can’t do that.. the alternative.. Put your self in a brace that stops you from looking back (over your shoulder.. to seek approval from somebody) and to your sides (to look at what others are doing) so you can only see straight.. and move forward (in life) literally and metaphorically.. kind like those cone s we put on dogs to stop licking them selves..

    PS – I’m still high after a booze fest.. hope I make/made sense.

  5. mia on

    If you think it is one and not do anything then it will be one but if you start something you’d be surprised as to how many will think exactly the same way as you. Lot of movements became successful becasue someone had the courage to start it.

    You can be free if you set yourself free. What is stopping you? Other people? (i don’t mean your loved ones)

  6. mia on

    I do in many ways live my life the way I want now. There was a time I had the residual “what will the others say” (from my mother) when dealing with my daughter and when it backfired in the form of her starting to say things like “what will they think?” I felt a deja vu and thought what have I done? And it took me years to reverse the damage I had done to show her as long as we live an honest and decent life we don’t have to think what others might say or think. – btw if this is confusing then let me clarify my point, she donates blood to the blood bank every three months or so among other deeds – so the inherent humane qualities I talked about in the post are there. At the moment I am trying my best to push my son to help with the homework of some kids in this area who came here as refugees and are struggling with English and other subjects……

    My philosophy is not to think about what others might say or how we will be perceived for what we want to do in this life.In the big picture those things are just superficial.
    If we want to do it, we do it. I sometimes see these overweight women with cellulite walking happily in really short shorts and used to think “how could you, don’t you have a mirror at home?” But now I see them and think……nothing. I know I can’t do it if I looked like that but also know it is their prerogative if they want to dress that way and salute for having the gut to do what makes them happy.

  7. Jerry on

    But even rebels are not completely free from it. Even they occasionally bow to the norms of society.

    Also, people NEED multiple personalities, so to speak. We just can’t live in a society of more than 5 or so people unless we have a customized personality for each of the types of people we meet.

    Even I wouldn’t go out to the store without a shirt. But I might want to. 😉

  8. Indyana on

    “After all these pleasing of others, ultimately we all die and the ones who can honestly say “woohoo what a ride that was?” are the lucky ones.”….ouch that hurts doesn’t it?

    Doomed are we??

  9. Darwin on

    “What will people think?” is something I never concern myself with – as far as I’m concerned most of my relatives are complete knob-heads and I have nothing to do with them and I couldn’t care less of their opinions of me. My parents respect my choices in life and pretty much give me enough rope to hang myself with were I to choose that. I think it’s the way I’ve been brought up though, there is a mutual trust and understanding between me and my parents – I will never abuse the trust they have in me by letting them down (eg: I wouldn’t flunk out of grad school and become a pothead). In turn they don’t abuse the trust I have in them not to make unfair demands of me (eg: they would never tell me how to live my life in a ‘ok you MUST go to med school’ or ‘okay it’s time for you to get married and we’ve found a decent boy for you’ against my will). I think I’m one of the lucky ones that have the freedom to do as I please, damn the rest 🙂

  10. Lady Divine on

    wow… this really hits Sri Lankan society spot on.. I hate to consider what people would think.. coz I really dont give a damn as long as I’m not doing anything wrong..
    but my mum is someone who does consider all that.. So i’ve left it to her..:D

  11. mia on

    Ok Jerry, that was too philosophical 😛
    “But even rebels are not completely free from it. Even they occasionally bow to the norms of society.” I agree and that is what I am doing right now and refrain from writing things that are ……………….(can’t find a word)

    Yes it will hurt if we don’t look at life in a different light to the common one we follow blindly.

    Somehow I knew you would not be a person who’d think what the others might say/think. If you said otherwise that would have surprised me 😛
    You are very lucky to have such liberal and intelligent parents who respect you to be you. That truly is a blessing.

    Glad to hear “what will the others say” has not infiltrated your very being. Stay that way.

  12. Jerry on

    Come on, noone can be completely free from constraining to society. People would be walking around naked if they could.

    And why don’t they? Because when you go to work the next day you’re “naked dude”, who incidentally has lost half his pay and is suspended.

    And just having easygoing parents doesnt work. Mine let me do more or less anything, but I, as in ME, simply don’t want to go againt the rules. There will be consequences.

    btw Mia, What do you mean too philosophical? 😉

  13. Gutterflower on

    It’s kind of ironic because I just had a mild fight with my mum on something along the lines of this post and then I see this post.

    I usually do whatever I say and think and my parents have let me have my freedom to a certain point. But now that I have become older they’ve tightened the noose a bit, which frankly is a bit frustrating and more than a bit surprising as I’ve prided my parents on being more open-minded than that.

    My dad not so much as my mum, but unfortunately my mums guided a lot by what other people say. (Which incidentally is one of the biggest evils of Sri Lankan society)

    I honestly don’t get the point of being a conformist. Life would be terribly monotonous if everyone did what was expected of him or her and adhered to social norms. I sincerely hope I wont grow up to be just a sheep in the herd. (shudder) 😦

  14. mia on

    Jerry, obviously you have not seen streakers on cricket grounds, soccer matches and race courses. The recent incident cost the streaker $5000 in fines (I think that is the figure…. Only heard it partly on news yesterday)
    Can you define the rules you said you don’t want to go against?
    I mean too philosophical Jerry :P…………….. 🙂

    Gutter flower,
    Hmmm…..older and tightening the noose a bit. That sounds familiar. My guess is they are now thinking in terms of men, marriage and a presentable daughter.
    “but unfortunately my mums guided a lot by what other people say.” That sums up lot of parents.
    I grew up with my mother saying “what will other people say?” and at times it drove me nuts. Though at times I asked her “do you think others care tuppence what you thought?” didn’t make a atom of a difference to her.

  15. Jerry on

    I mean, the unwritten rules of society. Sure, streakers have their way, but not all the time. They don’t go to the store like that do they?

    Stuff like wanting to travel on the roof of a bus, and by doing so, you’ll be labeled a looney and be treated as such, everywhere you go. We cannot not conform completely because we are social animals. We need, and want others.

    btw, tightening the nose as you get older? Weird. Mine just loosen it!

  16. mia on

    I understand the rules of society part and yes I do conform for some of them. Even in this blog world I have conformed to what people expect me to be.
    But in all honesty in real life I don’t (now) think what others might think if I did something out of the ordinary. I don’t give a toss as to what others might think as long as it is legally, morally right.

    Tightening the noose as in for girls, Jerry.
    Don’t know if this makes any sense had somewhat of a tiring day.

  17. Jerry on

    Well, no one would, say, paint their faces with clown make-up and walk into a job interview now would they?


    Sorry, I’m a hardline radical 😀

    Ohhh… for females…

  18. Six - &- Out on

    From my experiences it is virtually impossible to escape conforming to atleast some social norms. Simply because there are certain expectations from you to society. You cant go around doing what you please and end up hurting people and looking marginally crazy. Im with Jerry on this one. We need people and people need us. In order for you to maintain a good relationship with these people you need to act in certain ways and conform to certain ways of behavior and need to give a toss about what other people think of you. I dont think anyone would want to be known as an bad person by his friends/peers etc.

    No one is an Island ay ?

  19. mia on

    You want to play a game Jerry? I am more than up for it, let’s play then 😛
    Yes you would go for a job interview with clown makeup if the job was for McDonald’s Ronald the clown 😛

    Six & Out
    I am not saying we don’t need people but I have been in situations where there is no one but yourself to look after you. So personally I would think hard before I agree on that. But on the same token it could be my fault because I pretty much kept my things to myself. as I mentioned before it is a fine line on doing what you want and having some form of an equilibrium at the same time

  20. Jerry on

    Haha! You got me! …..sort of….

    You’d still look foolish doing it for an internship at Forbes. 😉

    What about Insurance? If you drive the way you want, rack up on accidents, eventually, people won’t want to insure you. Then, by driving you’d be a criminal, after which the regular legal systems come into place.

    Hmmm? 🙂

  21. mia on

    You can always pay for an excellent lawyer who will make it look like the other driver is the guilty party and make you out to be the exceptionally good driver that you are. (not) 🙂

  22. Jerry on

    Well, we could go on like this for ever, but there are things money can’t buy. People’s respect, for example. Some people, but not all.

  23. mia on

    Ok Jerry you win! 🙂

  24. Jerry on



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