May 15, 2013

A rant against 'Society'

Society: A community of people living in a particular region and having shared customs, laws and organizations.

Society is not really a new concept. Mankind has been living in societies, big or small, since ages. And it even makes sense, you feel much more empowered and secured in a group than as an individual. But what about the concept of society in modern times?

I am an introvert. And as an introvert I seldom feel the necessity to interact with people without any reason. Let me give you two examples here:
  • It's been 7 years since I have shifted to a new neighbourhood, but I still don't know the names of most of my neighbours. I don't know what they do, and how many family members they have. I don't care what they do for a living. And I don't remember taking any kind of help from them, although I might have helped them a few times.
  • When I was in college, we were told to be seniors' pet because ultimately they are going to come handy in all the situations. Now I may be an exception here, but I never really required any senior in any matter whatsoever in my 4 years of college life. And I beg to differ that the situation would have been much different if the seniors were there to 'guide' us.

Now, I am not saying that we shouldn't be interactive with our neighbours/seniors or people who may not be directly or immediately helpful to us. Of course, it's useful to live in harmony with everybody. But, I just want to prove that while it may be difficult in some situations, it's not at all impossible to live sans the help of the society in modern times. All you need is own your support staff (which in most cases is your immediate family and friends).

And this lets me make my main point: if we don't really need society to live in present times, my question is why are we still expected to conform to the arbitrary norms set by this intangible entity called "society"? If I never cared what people in the society are doing, why should I give a rat's arse about what society thinks of my behavior and attitude?

Again, I am not saying that we shouldn't behave ourselves or be allowed to do whatever the heck we think of. That will invite nothing but chaos. I am just saying that I don't feel the need of this society's acceptance to do something. My only concern has been and will always be what my family and friends think of me. Whether they accept me for who I am or if they have some problem with anything that I do.

So, what's the catch then? The problem is that your near & dear ones don't feel the same. And it's their self-inflicted need to behave in accordance with what the "society" wants:
  • Nobody cares if I wear certain types of clothes but your family wants you to be a 'gentleman'. They don't want the society to think that you are a 'rogue'.
  • People might not notice your drinking/smoking habits, but your friends won't want to be seen with a chain smoker/addict.
  • There is an extreme pressure on you to live up to your family's expectations by getting education from the best institutions possible and bag that top-notch job, so that the family doesn't feel humiliated by hearing the relative's kids' salary tab.
  • Your spouse would want you to behave in a certain way so that They don't feel embarrassed in a party.

...And you will have to oblige, because you love them!

I feel that there are just too many unsaid rules, besides those that are stated in Law, which one must follow in order to live up to the 'expectations' of the society. Otherwise, you will be branded a 'rebel' or a 'loose character'. 
  • You won't get good matches to marry (as if this is the ultimate goal of life).
  • You won't have too many friends (why so much pressure to have 100s of friends?). 
  • Society won't accept you as their own (I ask who gave this society the right to tell what's wrong and right for us?).

I don't know where it ends. And I don't understand why this society can't let us live our own damn path3tic life? Why does it need to interfere in every matter of our life? 

Or may be all this is just not true at all. May be everyone is only concerned about themselves and they don't have time to think what others are doing (at least I don't). May be this pressure to live up to the society's high standards are created by our own fickle minds. Nobody actually gives a rat's arse. 

Think about it.