Do we wake up and ask ourselves, “Do I love myself for who I am?” or “Do I love myself for others?” Too often we care more about what others think of us. Sometimes it is in an effort to be popular, the fear of disappointing or a desperate attempt for attention. Change is sometimes necessary for self-growth but what are the reasons to NOT change.
Changing To Be Popular
There is no doubt that being accepted gives a sense of belonging. Being a part of the “popular group” can give that feeling of superiority. The feeling of pride by knowing that we are liked is perhaps unlike any other, at least in high school. However, unwanted negative feedback can cause emotions to plummet into an abyss of despair. So is it worth giving up your personal values and beliefs for an alternate life of pleasing others when that life is not guaranteed?
Not Wanting to Disappoint
It hurts to disappoint a friend or loved one. For example, you may be in an uncomfortable or offensive situation with a friend but in an effort to not offend that friend, you suppress your thoughts. It is perhaps how peer pressure comes into play, for instance, when friends try to persuade you to do things not acceptable by society or parents. It is important that we stay true to ourselves and sometimes that means standing up to a good friend.
Changing for Parents
For the early part of our lives, our parents influence and to some extent control our choices and behaviour. We are taught right from wrong according to their beliefs, schools are chosen according to their liking, our clothing are decided upon and foods are prepared according to their considerations. They do this in our best interest but sometimes (or most) it is not to our liking. For example, they may choose clothes that are not hip enough for our peers, who we are desperately trying to please. Yet we show appreciation because we may not want to disappointment them.
Making The Change
Martin Luther King, Jr. was condemned for his beliefs, yet he fought for those beliefs. He eventually led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States until his death by assassination. King is the most widely known African-American leader of his era. He carries a legacy of love and justice. So the next time you decide to ignore your belief and morals, give others the time to accept who you are. I believe that happiness and acceptance begins within yourself.