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What will people say?



By Nandini Chopra

In Indian society, there exists an concern that is “log kya kahenge,” which translates to “what will people say?” We, as human beings, are invariably surrounded by others. Each person is born into a specific social and cultural milieu that includes their family, community, language, and religion. These surroundings have a profound impact on an individual’s thoughts, responses, decision-making processes, and behaviour. They encompass not only one’s home and neighbourhood, but also places of worship and the locations where one commutes regularly for work, study, and social interactions. Undoubtedly, our family plays a pivotal role in shaping our values and ethics. These factors influence our thought processes, actions, and moral compass. However, as we grow older, many of us strive to broaden our perspectives, which may not always align with societal norms, leading us to wonder, “What will people say?”

As humans, we often invest a significant amount of our time worrying about the perception of others, rather than dedicating that time to achieving our own goals. This fixation on societal approval has become a major demotivator for many individuals. It’s crucial to remember that it’s your own opinion that matters the most, not society’s. In the pursuit of societal validation, we sometimes lose sight of who we truly are, our unique talents, thoughts, and aspirations. We begin to measure and define ourselves based on the success standards set by others. Instead of seeking approval from within ourselves, we seek it from society. The phrase “log kya kahenge” has shattered the dreams of countless individuals.

It is incumbent upon us, as human beings, to change our mindset and break free from the clutches of this phrase. The fear of societal judgment is pervasive among many individuals. In contemporary society, it is imperative that we adopt new behaviours that empower everyone to live authentically and define success on their terms. Firstly, one must comprehend that people (the “log”) do not have ample time to obsess over your actions and choices. Just as you may not be preoccupied with the lives of others, they too are not fixated on yours. The impetus for change must come from within. In conclusion, carve your own path and tread it with confidence. Understand that people may criticise or reject your ideas while you work towards your goals, but this should never undermine your self-assurance. If you believe in your abilities and vision, persevere and continue your journey. You have only one life to live; embrace it and relish the authentic pleasures it offers, unburdened by societal pressures.