Saturday, October 11, 2008

I am who I am or am I who you think I am?

There's that old age saying that goes something along the lines of "You should do what makes you happy, regardless of what others think." A great saying in some ways, but like many sayings, in reality it doesn't quite work out that way.

Recent and even some old thinking of my came to the conclusion that you should do whatever you want (provided it doesn't harm anyone else) and what other people think shouldn't matter. To a great deal this makes a lot of sense, especially when it comes to things where the opinion of others doesn't really affect you unless you let it.

However it did occur to me that we live in a world of images. Every individual is broadcasting something about himself or herself to those around them. Whether its 'Hello... I am a successful and happy person', 'Hi, let's be friends' or 'I don't give a crap about anything'. Either way these are just on the surface and the truth is the real person is always hiding somewhere beneath that.

Ok so assuming you broadcast an 'I don't care attitude' and then go on to do whatever you like, things may go pretty well up until a point. You see the problem lies in the fact that other's perception of you affects the way they see and treat you. If even though you do something that is legitimate, but misunderstood by others, then their going to give you a lot of crap about it.

It's from therein that truly what other people think does matter, but only in certain situations. But really most of us waste too much time on what other people think, especially where it doesn't even really matter. I suppose it has to do with some bonding rituals with our peers that makes us seek out acceptance and conform. In someways no one really has that much integrity, and those who do would be deemed 'weirdo's'.

Some might say that not conforming is just being a rebel and causing trouble, but really is conforming the solution? Shouldn't we just accept people as they are instead of melding them to our own point of view so that we can get along? It's this very reason we get all these ideological and racial conflicts even today. Human beings are supposedly so evolved, but it really seems like we've only improved the superficial element.

The Soul is Dyed the Color of Its Thoughts: Think Only of Those Things That Can Bear The Full Light of Day
The Content of Your Character is Your Choice
Day by Day, What You Choose, What You Think and What You Do Is Who You Become
Your Integrity Is Your Destiny... It Is The Light That Guides Your Way


(From the picture at the top)


  1. The thing is, being who we really are is tough because everyone has expectations, and so many of them from us. Have you noticed that even when they don't know you, they still have expectations from us? Like if girls wear revealing outfits, people on the streets will stare disapprovingly... such shit.

    This is the reason why there's this Hindi proverb- 'Suno sabki, karo khud ki' Which translates to 'Listen to everybody, but do what you want to, ultimately.

  2. Exactly! In fact the original title for the post was "I am who I am... am I who you expect me to be?"

    And that was what I was saying too, that we have to cater to what people expect from us too at times.

  3. holy $&*#!!!!!!!!!!!

    this is great. Lucky me... I don't live in Sri Lanka anymore.. because I am SOMEWHAT free of 'images' over here.. and my best friend I met here taught me a good deal about not being judgmental and just accept everyone for who they are.. I'm telling you.. it feels quite good to do this.. because you know.. the only person you are responsible for is your self.

    Cheers to everyone who does make the effort to make "You should do what makes you happy, regardless of what others think." come true.. because it's not just about your self here.. for I believe that if you are happy, you don't see people the same way as you did

    at least... that's the case with me :D