Experiences, Observations, Peter&Beth

What is Your Relationship with Society?

Holding Hands

I’m beginning to build a better relationship between myself and society.

A relationship can be a good thing or a bad thing. It really depends on you. I think of having a relationship with a society like having a relationship with a person. It can be healthy, toxic, or anywhere in between. The same is true with your relationship with society.

In a personal relationship, it’s important to establish boundaries. Your limits will vary by person. Boundaries with your partner are very different than those with your work colleagues. Those boundaries also change over time.

Everything starts with you. You have choices, and you can make them, or you can let things happen to you.

When you are young, your relationship with society is very different than when you’re older.

As young children, we have no hesitation in sitting on the floor of the grocery store and screaming at the top of our lungs about how unfair the world is if we didn’t get our favorite breakfast cereal.

At that time in our life, we could have cared less about what others – i.e., society, community, family, etc. – thought about us. We wanted that box of cereal, and we were willing to have a temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery aisle to get it.

Fast forward several years and the idea of standing out or being different and calling attention to ourselves was the last thing we wanted to do. Fitting in was one of the ways to survive the school years.

Often that’s the way many of us continue to go through life as adults. We don’t want to stand out too much. We want to fit in and be accepted. We want to maintain a relationship with society – hoping we’ll be accepted.

It doesn’t have to be that way. We can think more about who we truly are and learn to appreciate and be comfortable with that part of us. We can choose to make choices and stick with them regardless of what society tells us who and what we should be.

You can only really get somewhere if you know where you want to go. If you constantly stop and ask – not for directions – but where someone thinks you should go – you will end up someplace determined by others and not a place that’s important to you.

Society – be it family, your workgroup, or your culture – has a role to play. However, it’s your life, and you get to choose how you want to live it.

What do you want out of life?

Where do you want to go?

It should be you making the choices, not society choosing for you.

About Peter and Beth Bostwick

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