Societal Expectations, Killer Of Genuine Decisions
The world is changing at a very fast pace. You blink for a minute and a whole decade of perceptions, beliefs and practices overtake you.
The environment that one is brought up in has a major impact on how you think, talk and even interact with others. It’s as good as saying, the society you live in, defines who you are.
People make choices according to the way they want to lead their lives. However, sometimes these choices are highly influenced by what the society will think of you, say about you or even treat you after.
Historically, age-hypogamous relationships were unheard off. An ideal relationship or marriage had a man who was slightly older than the woman. That was the societal structure that was perceived to be right.
The digital era, however, changed the narrative. It has become normal to find a couple where the woman is older than the man. Big names such as the French president Emanuel Macron, 44, and his wife Brigitte Macron, 68, are happily married despite the age difference.
Coming closer home, gospel artist Guardian Angel who is 20-years younger than his wife, Esther Musila tied the knot. From the photos shared on social media, one can clearly see the chemistry and genuine between the two.
Such relationships encounter a torrent of criticism from the society. The decision of an age-hypogamous couple seems to itch the society indirectly, even though no harm is rendered to anyone.
Couples in such relationships will opt to put their little bubble of affection a secret for fear of being judged.
The debate on doing the house chores is one that always turns into a debacle also. The modern woman can do what a man can do. She can study to a high academic ladder, get the white collar job and even raise the family by herself.
With this in place, duties seems to have equalized by default. It’s not peculiar to find a man changing his kid’s diapers, washing the dishes or spinning ugali. Some do it out of love, some do it because their wives have a busy schedule. But the society will still utter the common phrase, “umekaliwa na bibi”.
The society will always want you to be tuned in the way that they see it right. When you do contrary to their expectations, criticism follow in plenty.
Most times, our lives are dictated by what the society will say. The so-called society is the people around us; our friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbours et cetera.
Funny enough, you are also part and parcel of the society. There are people in your circle who will do or not do something because they fear what you will say or think of them.
A 27-year-old lady might be worried she hasn’t gotten married yet time is ticking. Deep down she might not even be considering marriage, but she is just afraid what the people around her will say when she ends up not getting married in her life. Or end up reaching menopause with no kid.
Same case to a fresh law graduate who might have knocked on each and every door, dropped CV everywhere all in vain. But he wouldn’t accept to do blue collar jobs for the meantime because the people around him will have something to say.
Such societal expectations can easily drown one into depression if not controlled well.
Blocking the noises can save you from a lot of life’s slip-ups. If a path feels right for you, follow it without minding what others might think.
Understanding that people will always talk, whether you do right or wrong, should motivate you to keep on keeping on. Do you, the world will adjust.
Bernard Baruch puts it well, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”