Flickr Photo by Benjamin Watson
Flickr Photo by Benjamin Watson

Wow, talk about a loaded question!  Great way to start off the new year, Priya!  Get paranoid about our loved ones.

For those who have followed my blog in the past, you know I’m all about having a positive, supportive entourage.  But what about blood?  Is it really thicker than water? This post is about digging deeper into what that means and who that includes…or doesn’t.

Mommy & Daddy Dearest: Are They Really That Selfless?

If we’re really going to get technical about parents and their role in society, then officially, they are not supposed to have children for any real benefit to themselves.  Parents are meant to give to children, not receive.  We can agree, then, that farmers with twenty children and royals who need to ensure the line of succession are by default crappy parents.

I’m being facetious but what I do want to draw attention to are the ways parents do not look out for their children’s best interests.  This is not because they are being malicious or do not love us.  On the contrary, it’s often because they love us so much that they let their fears cloud their responsibilities.

When I was in high school, I was never allowed to participate in after-school activities because my father wanted me to come home straight away.  I went to high school in the Bronx and there was only one public express bus after school that dropped me off on my street.  He was worried about my safety and believed that grades were all that mattered.  As a result, my chances of getting into an IVY-league school were hampered.  I also was not allowed to consider schools on the West Coast because my father could not handle being separated from me over that great of a distance.  His restrictions were for his own benefit, not mine, and I suffered for it.

As an adult, are you over-compromising yourself for your parents?  Do they force you to get involved in their marital problems?  Do they guilt you into staying at home which is stunting your emotional and psychological development?  Do they pressure you to make huge life decisions that your gut tells you are wrong and invalidate your feelings on the subject?  If so, your parents are doing you no favors and you are the only one who is and will continue to suffer if you do not take action.

To Thine Own Self Be True

Shakespeare knew what he was talking about.  There are very few quotes that I find truer than this one.  Almost all the people I have ever come across – friends, family, teachers, professors, managers, etc. – are selfish.  Managers are eager to have you work a job you are over-qualified for because it is in their interest to have someone of your caliber perform that job. Parents will pressure us to get married or study areas we are not passionate about because of their own shortsighted goals.  They could care less if that is not the vision we have for ourselves.

All of this is to say that if you’re making decisions in your life because friends and family disapprove, then you’re holding yourself back.  As we look at the new year and all we want to accomplish.  Let’s keep that in mind the next time we try to move forward and someone we care about opposes it.  The people who really love you will let you follow your dreams even if it scares them.

Takeaway:

Sometimes, the only person you can truly trust to look out for you is you.  Rebel.  Risk falling on your face for the chance to fly.

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