Some people are usually so concerned and perturbed about societal views and opinion about their behaviours, attitudes and appearances. This category of people is most often consumed by other people’s sarcastic and objective views about them.
As a result, they are prisoners of the others’ unknown and insignificant opinions just as the popular Loa Tzu’s quote ‘Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner’
People with this kind of thought are usually emotionally depressed and lonely thereby resorting to shyness, fear and shame as defense mechanism.
This particular state of mind is prevalent and noticeable among teenagers and adolescents as well as some adults who are curious on people’s opinion about their daily lives.
I was once a victim of people’s sarcastic and objective views about me. My peers will always make fun of my diminutive nature, which was a big deal to me.
This continued until I sat for an entrance examination to gain admission into the university. Among the comprehension passage was an interesting story that touched my life forever.
The passage was about a small plump woman with a walking stick, who was walking along a busy street, all dressed up but looking really stuffed and funny in the fashion wear.
Because she was a bit tired from the long walk, she opted to slightly lean on her walking stick to have a little rest. Unknown to her, it was a muddy ground that have been covered by sand. But because she was so plump, when she sat on the stick, it went deep into the ground and she couldn’t pull it out.
She tugged and tugged, tears of rage filled her eyes. When the final tug brought it out, she crashed with it to the ground. Her little ordeal drew attention from the passers-by who sympathized with her.
The woman slowly walked away feeling so ashamed about the incident; her day had been ruined. She had made a fool of herself in public. She had impressed nobody. In her own sad eyes, she was a failure.
However, the fact is; some people took notice of the incident and felt sorry for her and forgot it almost immediately, while others didn’t even take notice of the woman and her misery in the busy street. But the woman went home and pondered about none and insignificant views and feelings of the people about what happened to her.
I read this comprehension over and over again at home and it changed my responsive and timid nature to others’ feelings, opinions and views about me.
One day, a report came to me about my 17 year old cousin who was pregnant. Her family was absolutely devastated. She was so depressed and felt the world should just come to an end.
On learning about the situation, I went to talk sense into her. Her condition was so bad. What made it bad? You won’t believe this. It’s what people will say about her condition.
This thought alone confined her to her room as a prisoner. She ostracized herself from the society and even contemplated suicide to free herself from peoples’ views about her.
After having a vivid idea about her greatest challenge, I sympathized with her and narrated the story of the plump woman in the busy street that had changed my notion about peoples’ opinion.
She looked into my eyes, wiped her tears and told me it was the greatest inspirational story she had ever heard, and that it was timely.
5 years later, the baby girl is a beauty to behold, while my cousin is happily married. By relieving her from the thought of people’s opinion, she became a strong person and faced her fear squarely.
A lot of people are still living under the shadow of what people think about them. Are you worried about what people feel about your illness, constant business failures, old model car, poor academic performance, visible scars, ugly looks, and poor financial status?
No matter what you do in this world, people will always talk. It is good for you to know what people say, feel and think about your actions, but it is absolutely bad to let their views and opinion mar your life by becoming their prisoner.
It is a free world and people are entitled to their thought and opinions. The weight of other people’s thought will always be a big burden to you. Make conscious effort to offload such weight by regarding people’s thought as a normal life occurrence.
I was once like that before I learnt that nobody really cared about what you do or what happens to you. Tap into this positive thought and live a fulfilled and independent life.
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