Honestly examine yourself and tell me is it not true. Whenever you were in dilemma did you not keep others opinion above yours? Was it not important for you to get consent form your peer group, family, friends and the society in general whenever there was something crucial in your life?
I am sure most of you will reply in affirmative. The fact is that most of us care for what others think about ourselves and the choices we make. There are very few people who have the gut, gumption and conviction to not care for others opinion and stick to their guns despite all odds. But there are very few such people and most of the times they have emerged victorious in one way or other. You can put all social reformers, scientists, scholars in this category.
The bitter truth is that all of us are not extraordinary and think about people’s opinion all the time. We constantly need approvals from society because we have been conditioned like that since our childhood. As a child if we tried to cross the fine line of stereotypes, we were quickly laughed at and stopped by our parents and other elders to not do so. We were told that we need to stick to the norms of the society and care about what others think. Remember that cute little boy who dressed up like a girl in pink frock and shoes and we all laughed heartily on him. That very moment it must have settled in the child’s memory that he cannot dress up according to his desires, adhering to people’s opinion is very important.
In fact we all are conditioned to look at ourselves in the social mirrors and take approvals all the time. If someone says we look good, our self-respect increases instantly and if someone tells us the very next moment that we have put on weight, we will begin to feel bad about ourselves. This shows that in our efforts to take care of others opinion we forget ourselves and our self- respect.
Children must be taught at an early age to not care much about others opinion and should be given opportunities to think and live freely.