Recently I wrote an article that many people seem to resonate with (considering the tens of thousands of views it has already received), the topic of which is how sick is the society we live in and why not accepting what society has offered us as normal is actually a healthy thing to do, although it might socially stigmatize us, even to the extent of making us look somewhat crazy to our fellow human beings.
Of course, society is ultimately nothing but our own creation — a manifestation of our collective mind. Society, therefore, can be changed at any moment we decide that it should be changed, but before we can do so, we need to transform our own consciousness.
The most important step to doing so is to question the beliefs that were handed down to us from tradition and start thinking for ourselves to find out how we can live in a way that genuinely contributes to our well-being. To assist you in your journey, I’d like to present you here with five of the most stupid and damaging things that society teaches you and expects from you, along with reasons why you shouldn’t believe and follow them.
“You have to obey authority.’’
From a very early age, society has conditioned us not to trust ourselves, to not follow our inner voice and to not use our critical thinking. If we attempted to do otherwise, we were told that we would face immense trouble. Hence, instead of creating our own path in life and walking on it, we are following a predetermined path that was given to us by others, whether we like it or not.
Advertising has fooled us into believing that happiness is to be found in material objects, and unless we possess a lot of them, we’ll not be able to live in joy just the way we are. But no matter how many possessions we have, we still feel thirsty for more, simply because the acquirement of material objects cannot satisfy our emotional needs.
What we truly need to be happy is to form intimate relationships with others, to pursue our passions, to develop a mindful attitude, and be grateful for the gifts that existence has offered us — and no amount of money can buy us any of these.
“You have to be religious to be a good person.’’
Another stupid thing that society expects from you is to be “religious.”
Most people have been taught from their parents, school, and church that to have good morals and act in an ethical way towards their fellow human beings, they need to blindly believe in religion and unquestionably follow its dogmas.
But I am telling you: This is utter horseshit!
To be religiously indoctrinated means to suppress yourself in numerous ways. That’s because to follow a religious dogma means that you act in certain ways solely because a scripture or an authority figure says so, and not because you truly feel like doing so, and this has tremendously negative consequences both on yours and the world’s the well-being.
Firstly, you fill your psyche with self-hatred, because, when you feel that you are not complete, loved and accepted as you are, how can you love yourself? You can only hate yourself. And when you hate yourself, how can you love others? You can’t, for self-love is the beginning of other-love.
Also, doing certain things just because your religion says that are good might be harmful to yourself and those around you, even if you have the best intentions. No wonder some of the greatest atrocities in human history have taken place in the name of religion.
Lastly yet perhaps most importantly, when you believe that your religion is the only true religion, you start seeing other religions as inimical to yours, and you turn against those who subscribe to them. Therefore, organized religion inevitably breeds hatred and conflict among people.
Having said the above, most of the world’s major religions do have at their core some important lessons to teach, so study them and learn what you can from them, but make sure to discard what you feel is not right and helpful. Above all, don’t be attached to any ideology, whether religious or otherwise.
Being deeply social beings with an inherent need to connect and be loved by others, many of us choose to compromise the way we live to receive social approval, out of fear that if we don’t do so, we’ll be abandoned and experience loneliness.
This way, however, we only achieve to sacrifice our well-being. Apparently, to force yourself into doing things just because others told you to do so is not the best decision to make for yourself.
To rebel against society is a difficult thing to do, but necessary to bring peace, happiness, and freedom into your life and help create a more beautiful world for all humanity. Therefore, if you want to make positive personal and social change, you need to let go of the toxic beliefs that were instilled into your mind from tradition and gather the courage in your heart to say a big NO to fulfilling society’s expectations, no matter the obstacles you might encounter along your journey.
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Featured image: MichaelShapcott