A mother loves without bounds. She wants the best for us. Growing up, you’re instilled with a certain set of childhood values that check off all the boxes that societal expectations require. Eventually, though, when you grow up, you realize that society doesn’t really matter all that much. Nothing is as distinct as black and white – there are many grey areas, loopholes and things that simply do not makes sense.
For everyone who’s ever felt this way, here is a list of values we grow up with as compared to what we end up learning ourselves through personal experience:
1. About Home
What We’ve Grown Up Learning: There’s no place like home
What We Learn: Home is where the heart is
Though you’ve been taught that your own house is a haven of comfort and your safe place, it may not necessarily be true for everyone. Home is where you’re comfortable, where you can unabashedly be yourself – no holds barred.
2. About Your Own Self
What We’ve Grown Up Learning: Be someone people can look up to
What We Learn: Be yourself
You’re expected to be role models from an early age, regardless of what sphere of life it may be. You’re expected to excel academically while being socially amicable – all to show the world that you are the embodiment of everything perfect. When you grow up, you realize that it’s all a facade – no one is or can be perfect. The most perfect thing you can be is the best versions of yourselves.
3. About Happiness
What We’ve Grown Up Learning: Happy is when you’re smiling and making everyone around cheerful
What We Learn: Happiness comes from within
The society paints a typical image of happiness – a great job and a happy married life. Not everyone wants that, though. Happiness comes from what drives you and makes you feel complete at the end of the day. It should always be your choice to pursue it.
4. About Respect
What We’ve Grown Up Learning: Respect everyone
What We Learn: Respect those who deserve it
Respect is earned, not distributed due to age or social stature. If someone is obviously wrong and an overall terrible person, with a misogynistic or hypocritical outlook on life, they do not deserve your respect. You may owe them politeness, but everyone has to work hard and prove themselves worthy of respect.
5. About Life Goals
What We’ve Grown Up Learning: Parho, kamao aur shaadi
What We Learn: There’s a lot more to life
Life never has to revolve around those three aspects. You realize that you need to educate yourselves to gain knowledge, not to wave your degrees in the faces of potential rishtas. Your lives are more than marriage and settling down (though there’s nothing wrong with either of those). Your lives have bigger purposes They’re just waiting to be discovered.
6. About Society
What We’ve Grown Up Learning: Loug kya kaheinge
What We Learn: Fuck the loug
You cannot live your lives in the fear that you’ll be judged. We’re judged anyway, simply for existing. You can’t please everyone, and you don’t really need to, in the first place. Those who matter will guide you and love you. Those who don’t are none of your concern.
7. About Gender Equality
What We’ve Grown Up Learning: An obvious societal bias against girls
What We Learn: Fuck that shit
Men and women are equal. Anyone who tells you otherwise needs to back up their argument with sufficient logic – which they probably lack. You’re allowed to live your life the way you want, and you should allow others to live their lives the way they want. You cannot call someone’s daughter a slut for something that your son is also openly doing.
8. About Careers
What We’ve Grown Up Learning: Larki ho toh doctor, larka ho toh engineer
What We Learn: Be whatever you want to be
If your dreams are big enough to support you in the future, take the leap and be whatever you want to be. There will be a couple of hard years, but the self-satisfaction will be worth it at the end. And even if you’re forced to choose a path you hate, never give up on what you want to do. There are 24 hours in a day. Use them wisely.
9. About Practicality
What We’ve Grown Up Learning: Choose a field with sufficient scope
What We Learn: Choose a field that satisfies you financially and mentally
Money and happiness do not go hand in hand all the time. Be practical while making decisions, but don’t overcloud your mind with an immense thirst to be rich. Paisa aajayega, but mental satisfaction cannot be ignored.
10. About Taboos
What We’ve Grown Up Learning: Aisi baatein nahi karte
What We Learn: Aisi baatein hum nahi kareinge toh kaun karega?
If we don’t raise our voices against issues that are sidelined as taboos, how do we expect them to get addressed? It’s convenient to simply brush aside topics such as mental health, the transgender society, divorce, sex and suicide, but the fact is that our ignorance makes it all a whole lot worse. Don’t back down from speaking up.
11. About Self Worth
What We’ve Grown Up Learning: We are what people think of us as
What We Learn: We are who we are
Society teaches you to severely tie your self-worth to the opinions of others. However, you realize that what others say or think about you has no impact at the end of the day. You grow up according to the obstacles you’ve faced, tears you’ve shed and lessons you’ve learned – no one can take that away from you and no one should ever have the power to. If, at the end of the day, you’re proud of the reflection in the mirror, you’ve done pretty damn well.
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