It's Your Path That Defines You. - Whose shoes are you walking in?
Greetings to all. Think about this question. Are we now living in a society where people are so confused about their identity that they do not know what defines them? I receive many emails asking me to discuss the current state of our society with regard to individual identity. This post involved much research and a hard look at myself and the path I chose in life. A path I must say that had many twists and turns along the way. A path I strayed from many times until I finally got it right.
The question is, what is right? First, no one has the right to judge others for their personal life choices as to what they choose to be. Let's make that perfectly clear from the start. Part of being an individual is being who and what you are as a person. There is one caveat to that. As much as each individual has that right, they DO NOT have the right to impress or force their choices on others. That is where the problem starts. Hopefully, this post will shed a little light on the topic.
FROM THE BEGINNING:
Whether people realize it or not, every person has had someone along the way or more than one person that has influenced them. That influence could have been good, or it could have been bad. It could have been anyone. A family member, a teacher, a boss at work, a friend, or anyone you admire. Someone whose shoes would not mind walking in. This is the very beginning of the path you will start to take in your life.
However, do not confuse the path you start on with your choices or goals. They are each different. Also, just because you start out on the wrong path does not mean you cannot change that path. Let's look at each briefly.
Your life path is a combination of the choices you have made and your experiences. Look at your path in life as if you were walking down a road.
That road may twist and turn. You may take a right or a left or walk straight. That is your path. What might be considered a good or bad path is subjective. Although, a good or bad path is usually determined by what society considers acceptable. For example. If you choose a life of crime, most would say you took a bad path in life. If you worked hard, provided for your family, and were caring, most would say you took a good path.
Admittedly, those examples are general, but I think you understand the meaning. During this time, as you grow and learn, you develop character. Your character is your mental and moral qualities. How you think, feel, and act. These qualities vary from individual to individual. Like your path, the character of an individual is also subjective. The thing to remember is everyone has character. Whether it is good or bad, society determines.
Goals are key in our lives. Our goals may change many times. Your goals can be many things. What you what to be in life, and what you want to achieve. Basically, it's what your ambitions are and what desired result you want. As a rule, people who consider themselves to be individual thinkers, meaning they make their own decisions and choices and do not necessarily follow what others do, are more sure of themselves and, in most cases, find it easier to achieve their desired result.
We have all heard the term 'followers.' People who will go along with the crowd or whatever the crowd is doing, even if they question the motives. This is not to say that being a follower is bad. However, these people will tend to find it harder to achieve their desired results because they are too busy following others.
Earlier, I asked, whose shoes do you want to walk in? Followers walk in the shoes of others. Leaders and individuals walk in their own shoes. Keep in mind that I am talking about life in general. As a whole. Not the crowd you hung out with in high school. There is nothing wrong with having friends and being a part of something larger than yourself. The problem arises when people stop thinking for themselves and make bad choices. How many times when you were growing up did your parents say to you, "If they jump off a cliff, does that mean you will?"
In our younger years, we make bonds with our friends. To some degree, we are all followers at some point in time. The difference is some grow out of it, and others do not. However, this is where it all starts. This is where it begins. This is a brief overview. Each topic can be a book in itself. However, this is only a blog post, so summarizing is key.
INDIVIDUALITY AND DIVERSITY AND FREEDOM:
I must include these topics to complete this post and address the questions regarding modern-day society. Freedom is the big question mark in modern-day society. Do we really have our freedom? There are many types of freedom. Freedom from government, political freedom, religious freedom, and individual freedom. Just to name a few. I want to talk about individual freedom. Why? Because that addresses both individuality and diversity. What are individuality and diversity?
Individuality - the quality or character of a particular person or thing that distinguishes them from others of the same kind, especially when strongly marked.
Diversity - the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc
(courtesy of Google)
We are all individuals. We each have qualities and characteristics that are our own. Inherent only to us.
However, not as many individuals think for themselves in modern-day society as you might think. How do we know this? It's simple. We don't need data and statistics to prove it. How many in your life did you ask someone why they did something or voted for someone? Many, I'm sure. How often did they reply, "I don't know, (name) did?
Does it make sense that that reply does not represent individual thinking and individuality? Then there are those who reply, "Because I wanted to." Do you see the difference? People who think for themselves more often than not have higher self-worth and a great sense of individual freedom. Which person are you? How do you reply?
Individuality comes with a price. A price that many are not willing to pay. To be an individual, you often have to go against the grain. Against what may be popular by many friends, family, or others. Stepping out on that limb can be a lonely place.
The sad part is, although much of this type of personality trait is hard-wired into a person from birth, living in a society with a biased news media and so many people telling you what to think, do, or say, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why there is a decrease in individual thinkers. Thankfully, the youth of today is taking up that slack. However, are they being guided properly? With schools and colleges trying to mold students rather than teach them, what type of individual thinkers will we have, and what will their idea be of individual freedom? This brings us to diversity.
I provided you with the definition of diversity, which is good. Our society needs to be more diverse. Many things are out in the open that was tucked away for decades. The biggest problem with diversity is closed-minded thinking. Diversity means change, acceptance, and more. People are reluctant to accept these concepts because they are far from what they consider normal. Otherwise known as "The generation gap."
There is nothing wrong with diversity. What is wrong is what we do with it as individuals and as a society. I said a few posts back that we will define people using every letter in the alphabet at the rate we are going. Why? Because, for some reason, people feel the need to put a label on everything. Some labels are demeaning and tend to close the minds of others. With these new labels, these individuals feel the need to form an alliance. Become a group. Express their thoughts any way they can. Even at the risk of hurting others. Just live as individuals the way you choose. Why do you feel you must IMPOSE your ways and views upon others to sway others in a different direction? Especially children.
Children have grown up without these distractions or narratives for decades and fallen into who they became naturally. Why do people, groups, organizations, schools, and others feel the need to influence our children with their narratives under the auspices of diversity? Does that make sense? The biggest joke when children started to reach a certain age was, having a talk about the birds and the bees. Before any parent had that talk, their children already knew all about it.
I am trying to help you make some sense out of all the nonsense in today's society. The larger problem with this type of approach is what it leads to. Nothing ever just ends there. It has always grown and manifested into other issues, as it is now. The old saying "live and let live" is a great motto. One that more should practice. Society is shell-shocked. If they disagree, they are canceled on social media, their friends, or some other ungodly platforms. If they agree, then they argue with the rest of society. The worst part is, when someone doesn't know what to call you, they always just call you a racist. One way or another, you will get a label.
This is where modern-day society, which is supposed to be more educated than previous generations (HA), has evolved. This is what we have become. Now I ask you. Is this what you want to be?
We must remember that in some cases and some cultures, people do not have to option to choose their path in life. Often times that is pre-determined for them. There are existing cultures where marriages are pre-determined for the sake of a nation or to unite families of royalty.
In the United States of America, we have a luxury denied to many. Individual freedom and freedom of choice. These are things that many forget and take for granted. Due to various reasons, mostly politics, our nation is divided. A state in which no political party should have been allowed, or allowed, to get this far out of hand.
Politics is NOT about the personal agenda of any politician or political party. Our government and those who serve it serve at the will of the people. A concept that they appear to have forgotten. However, this is the path they have chosen. Therefore, this is how our politicians are defined. This problem does not only affect us as a nation, but it has a global effect. It affects how other countries view us. This is a critical point when it comes to global standings. Economic power, military power, and unity as a country.
Therefore, what defines you? What defines a person encompasses everything we have discussed, including self-worth, how people support and encourage others, their wisdom, and their faith in themselves. All these things come from the path you have chosen in life because that path will determine what you will learn, how you will learn it, and what you will do with your newfound knowledge. This is why your path defines you. Anyone with a brain in their head knows we and the world are struggling and living through potentially dangerous times. Both economically and on the stage of world peace. No matter what.
People of the world must never lose faith in the fact that things can get better. Change is difficult. Change takes time. Learning new ideas and concepts takes time to get accustomed to. The trick is not to PUSH it or FORCE it. Let it all come naturally. No one likes anything shoved in their face or down their throat. Live a life of individual choice, freedom, and the contentment to be who you are and be content with that. You do not need everyone's approval, so stop trying to change others to obtain it.
Choose your path wisely, and it will define you. You will not need any further validation. Be safe, stay well, and focus on being happy. And ...... remember to always:
Live with an open mind,
Live with an open heart,
Live your best life.
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