A friend mine asked me yesterday and I quote "why do you care so much about people judging you?" That really got me thinking. He immediately apologised for asking me this, but I dont think he needed to. I guess at a subconscious level I always knew that there are times when I think a lot about what the others think about me, but when he said it directly, it was like a bolt from the blue. I think when someone else tells you about something it seems more concrete. We tend to usually ignore our inner voices when it is telling us about something that we are doing wrong. But when a friend or a relative or even a perfect stranger for that matter says the same thing, we cannot go on ignoring it. We think that it is about time we changed ourselves.
Ok, coming back to the main topic, why is it that we ( ok me ) care so much about what the people think about us? I guess there is this innate need in all of us, the need to be accepted. We often judge others, hence we care about being judged ourselves.
Coincidently the "Mind over Matters" section, of today's TOI talked about a similar issue. It was about people who want to play safe most of their lives. They want to live in their comfort zones always. Then there are those who dare to be different. Who break away from their comfort zones into unexplored territories. These people are spend most of their lives alone. They may be surounded by people all their lives, but there are very few who understand them. They want to live their lives, their own way and dont care about what the others think of them. These are the kind of people who really matter. Why? Simply because they had the courage to go against the tide.
Take Howard Roark for example ( for those who dont know, Howard Roark is the hero of one of the most famous books in history, The Fountainhead ). He was a brilliant architect but he did not follow the the rules of architecture taught to them in the school. He did things his own way. He did not listen to others. He did what his heart bid him to. And for this reason he was despised and loathed by people all around him. But, there were a few who understood why is he behaving the way he is. And they were his true friends. They were the ones who stuck by him through thick and thin.
Then you realise, does it really matter if you have loads and loads of friends? Or, can you really call such people your friends? Friends are those who accept you for who you are, not who you pretend to be in front of them. These are the people who really matter. Why should we care about the others? If Howard had follows the rules of the society, nothing could have stopped him from being rich and famous. But would it have made him happy? I think not. He chose his happiness over everything. After all in the end that's all that really means something isnt it?
I would like to end with a quote or rather an oath from Atlus Shrugged, which is like a sequel to The Fountainhead:
“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
I wonder if we can really follow it though ;).