By: Rayhan Subi
Humans are social beings. We seek to form meaningful relationships and often find solace and comfort in being around the people we love. We feel happier and more confident when we are with those we are close to. We derive many of our values, thoughts, and knowledge from the people we surround ourselves with. The peer pressure we experience from our social groups significantly influences the choices we make. Social relationships are of great importance to everyone. But why do we need friends and partners? Most people would say that their partners and friends bring out the best in them. Others would express that they feel ‘complete’ when they are with certain people. All of these reasons are valid. Relationships are an integral part of life, and everyone deals with them in different ways. This social culture and influence from others constitute the social aspect of the human experience.
Now, let’s delve into the question of whether we truly understand ourselves. I don’t mean just knowing our goals, aspirations, or favorite genres of novels, but rather, understanding our outlook on life, our wants, needs, and, more importantly, our own thoughts and the factors that control them. Our understanding of ourselves is based on our experiences and our perception of these experiences. It’s not entirely uncommon to see people doing things simply because they’ve been asked to. However, when your personal identity is not genuine and merely exists to please others, it greatly affects your self-esteem. Many philosophers argue that you can never fully understand yourself and that individuality is a lifelong process of learning and trying to discover yourself. This journey of self-discovery is the essence of Individuality.
We all have days when we feel like we’re on top of the world, and other days when we just want to curl up and cry all day. Bad days and tough times are inevitable, and we eventually learn to overcome these adversities. With changes in lifestyle, constant anxiety becomes a common experience. In many countries, including India, mental health is at the forefront of well-being, and it’s crucial to acknowledge that along with the good and bright days, the dark and depressing days are also a part of the human experience.
Have you ever pondered the purpose of life? Religious individuals might say that life is meant to be devoted to God and lead to Heaven in the afterlife. A nihilist, on the other hand, might argue that there is no point to our existence. However, the most common answer is that the purpose of life depends on the individual. The way of life we choose should reflect the most authentic expression of ourselves and enable us to live the way we truly want to. It is wrong to say that life is purposeless. Embracing our identity and avoiding social pressure help us live a more fulfilled and authentic life – a life where we are the authors of our own stories. This understanding represents the existentialism aspect of the human experience.
In summary, as social beings, our relationships and social interactions shape us. Understanding ourselves is an ongoing process, and individuality is forged through experiences. We must acknowledge the ups and downs of life, including mental health challenges, as they are part of our human journey. Ultimately, the purpose of life is subjective and depends on each individual, with embracing our authentic selves as a key element in living a fulfilling existence.