Society Check

Scrolled down through my Instagram feeds, I found a very interesting picture. It quotes a conversation from Paulo Coelho’s The Zahir. Ester asked why people are sad. “That’s simple,” says the old man. “They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people’s ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.”

I have been thinking about this since quite a long time ago. It begins when one of my friend complained about how Indonesians are forced to get a job right after graduating from university. Who force them? Their parents, their family, their lecturer well, basically the society. Meanwhile, in some other countries, people can take their gap year after university. The gap year can be used for traveling, doing an internship, working part-time, learning new language, etc. People are allowed to choose their path (and actually be responsible about it).

Graduates in here are expected to work in the field that is related to their major. Furthermore, they are expected to be paid with a good amount of money. Truth is, it is not so easy to look for a job nowadays. People competes with thousands of other people. So it creates a high pressure for graduates.

In fact, maybe getting a job and having a promising career are not the goals of all graduates. Maybe they want to dance, work freelance, be an entrepreneur, or anything else. But that’s not what society accepts (at least not yet).

I think this kind of thing also happens in other matters. For example, getting married. Currently, people, especially woman, are expected to get married at a certain age. Or buying a house. Or getting into college and choosing the prestigious major. It seems like the society has a particular path that everybody has to follow. Thus we kind of make our plan according to that path. Thus the target of a person’s life becomes similar to each other: after high school, entering a good university, graduating with high GPA, start working in a well-known company, getting married, buying a house, pursuing a master degree, and so on and so on.

Even without realizing it, we do a society check when we make plans in our life. Would this be what the society can accept? Is everybody doing this thing? Will I look normal if I make this particular move? Etc.

I do, too.

Well I don’t actually know whether this is right or wrong. But I do believe that we gotta do what makes us happy. And we gotta shut down those people who try to break us. On the other hand, we live in a society and we have to ‘comply’ with the ‘rule’…. or not(?)

Well, whatever it is, I hope we always follow the path that is kind and makes us happy.


♥ Atiqah Zulfa Nadia


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