The pressure of freedom and opportunity

For a long time all our parents and grand parents could dream for us was to be free and blessed with abundant opportunity. Thank the ancestors this dream shared by many has become a reality and here we live and breathe in this beautiful time where no piece of legislation limits anyone being of taking from this world what they want,creating what they feel is missing and giving to the world the best of them. Goodness if only they could see us now.

I think of the great members of my family for instance who I know were amazing people like my grandmother Dimakatso,if she lived in my time what could she have realised of her strength and talents. I’m certain she would have soared to heights unbelievable. But that’s just a thought, I am here we are living in a time of freedom and opportunity. A space one slowly realises is not without its challenges, interpreting our identities,talents passion then translating all of this into our daily life whilst contending with who we ought to be as molded by our schooling systems or should I say indoctrination. Reconciling who we are with who we think we ought to be.

When you are afforded many opportunities the natural expectation is for success to be inevitable wether the expectation is from ourselves or others it exists. This expectation somehow becomes a huge excertion of pressure a very scaly one infact because its not spoken of.Here are a few examples of the type of pressures:

  • How the success of a so called ‘Black Diamond’ is measured by the car they drive the more German the better

This one here makes people think they can ask you questions like when are you changing your car? Sometimes by people who don’t or have never had a car. Like how does this even make sense. Needless to say this makes for very awkward conversations imagine if you said I’m not changing my car because I am trying to accumulate wealth and not keep up with the Jones’s loser. Ok that would a bit harsh but the car you drive is your business and should be nothing else other than what you need and can afford.

  • That we are what we have studied/or the Job you have and straying from that path or pursuing your passion or a different path makes your ‘crazy’

As if at some pont in time it was declared that ‘Henceforth all people shall remain in their field of study or work for eternity’. Whilst the truth is the one job for life syndrome is very baby-boomer generation-ish. As if when you go to tertiary you actually know what you really want to do for the rest of your life. Sure explaining this to our elders they may not fully get initially but the truth is as we grow older we learn more about ourselves what we prefer and the environment we will be more suited to or happy in. This means HR practitioners are going to become  chefs, sales consultants entrepreneurs,account managers photographers. So actually society needs to get used to this and support people pursuing their dreams and ultimately happiness.

  • Then its the When are you having children? or when are you getting married? Who do you think is going to marry you when you’re so focused on your career? When will you settle down and have a family the clock is ticking?

There is no one recipe for happiness and as such we shouldnt behave like there is. Some people are meant to get married and have children because that who they are and that’s what they will dedicate their lives to doing . Others may have the careers and family and be absolutely happy with it. However others will want only the career or only the family which is perfectly fine. What society needs to stop doing is acting like there is an element of inadequacy to those whose lives represent different choices such as not to get married or not to have children or whatever the case may be. Our journeys to happiness will not be same and we must embrace these differences because they actually enrich the fibre of our society.

Those are just a few examples of the pressures that come with our lives these days. I only wish we could place more positive pressure on ourselves and those around us to insist on following that which our hearts and minds truly yearn for and realise our full potential in areas that matter to us the most otherwise it almost seems as if we are wasting our opportunity of living fulfilling lives.

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