In today’s world of glamorization and exaggeration, in which truth is concealed, it is easy to feel like you are the only person struggling in life. In reality, though, all of Earth’s 7.3 billion people are currently going through something difficult in their lives – whether it be related to family, money, food, or even clean air.
Whether we are speaking of industrialized countries or Third World nations, humans have learned to put a brave face forward that somewhat translates into ‘I am all right.’ To illustrate this, let us imagine having an aerial view of New York City’s streets on a Monday morning. You would notice the elderly, men, women and children bustling and scurrying from one place to another. Rarely would these pedestrians expect to be stopped by someone and be asked how their morning is going. Even if such an exceptional incident took place, one would be bewildered and immediately judge the kind person to be bizarre. Why is it frowned upon if you express a warm smile to a stranger walking past you on the sidewalk? Or why do people seem surprised if a youngster gives their seat up to a pregnant woman on the subway? The sole purpose of such kind acts is to induce familiarity and comfort into a rather cold and sheltered world.
We wonder why peace and genuine kindness are fading from our society, but what we fail to realize is that we ourselves are the perpetrators of this. We are constantly advocating for truth in all affairs, yet we ourselves are pressuring one another to conceal the truth. Oh, the irony that lives in us!
The main point of society teaching us to present a false representation of reality, is so that every one of us can develop a sense of belonging. For example, if you pretend that your relationship is not rocky, you are the average happy couple. If you pretend that your significant other and children are perfect, then you are the average All-American family living the American dream. if you pretend that you immediately received a job offer after college, then you are a successful post-graduate. These are all labels that we feel compelled to belong to: happy family, happy marriage, happy couple, happy graduate … just happy all the time. This is simply incorrect. If there is one thing that we have learned from the years we’ve lived, it is that life is not intended to be bump-free. It’s the crashing waves, tumultuous peaks, and thorny bushes that will ultimately direct us towards the road of peace. Nirvana.
In short, when we say that society is teaching us to filter and glamorize the truth, we need to realize that we are the society. Hence, a change must come from within ourselves. If one soul decides to break free from this culture of homogeneity, that free spirit will be contagious. Soon enough, a ripple of change will pervade the whole sea.
It’s okay to cry from all of life’s stress – no one will judge you. In fact, every one of us is yearning for someone to show vulnerability, because that is what life is about. If you glamorize your life, you are not creating a sense of ‘fitting in,’ but rather, are building a cold wall around you that no other person can relate to. On that note,
when life presents you with lemons, don’t make lemonade, but show their pure acidity to the world.