We Are A Generation That Always Needs To Be Told 'Be You' And It's Seriously Sad

Sneh Sapru Sneh Sapru in Bakkar. Chai. Sutta on 31 January, 2017

We live in a world where God may or may not be omnipresent, but displays sure are. From magazines to laptops, mobiles, TV's, billboards and even the toilet doors on aircrafts 10,000 feet above the sky.

We’re constantly being communicated to by the world around us. And they're telling us just who to be, how to think, what to wear, and how to live.

Our sense of style validated is by social media likes. Our social calendars constructed to make us look like the lead stars of a cool rom-com. Even our ideas of love are driven by those wretched self-help articles that lead us to feeling more in need of help, than being healed by reading them. Whether we like it, or even know it, we're relentlessly being persuaded to be somebody. The characters we work so hard at moulding ourselves into, are the very reason, we'll never stop to question who we naturally are.

For far too long, we’ve been told who to be, instead of being given the space to just be.

And this complex mental trauma too, we cannot claim to be our own. Besides old burdens of patriarchy and new banes of social media, magazines, marketing, and movies have conditioned our brain to an almost robotic state of trance. Not only has their repetitive presence won their way into our hearts. They've also given us a collective identity crisis. For every new daring biker boy on the block, there's another 'rugged adventurer' persona television wants us to chase.

For every new shade of lipstick, a girl just brought from M.A.C, there's a limited edition she'll be teased with by her favourite celebrity on the red carpet.

For every loving meal a mother made for her family, a more loving mother's cook book tells her, she can be better. 

Be it the young and restless, or the successful and arrived, everybody is aspiring for the elusive goal of being that amazingly-awesome-image-of-you-that-everybody-loves-more-than-you-do. The dream to 'be who you want to be' with the instruction manual of just how to be that person.

It's amazing how badly we're willing to be reminded about being different, as if being different wasn't part of our very nature. And in nature itself, the answer to our identities lie. 

In the African Savannas, every zebra is identified by their stripes. And although, to the unobservant eye, every zebra looks the same, no two zebra stripes ever truly are. Unsurprisingly, this trait holds true for every animal in the world. From the schools of fishes that can swim together, yet stand apart, to the leopard cubs that share their spots but not their style.

Inherently, in their own unique way, every animal is different, even if they're a part of the same herd.

I've often wondered if the human understanding of the collective intelligence of animals is completely flawed. Our self-declaration of being the most intelligent species on earth, invalidates our wisdom to understand the very nature of intelligence. Thankfully, animal kind's mental make-up remains unexposed to the world of capitalist markets and consumption-inducing marketing plans, and so they don't suffer from the anxiety pangs of belonging to their society. They are blissfully indifferent to the identity crisis of our glorious, rich and evolved species.

Where every ad, song, dance, film, and self-help article takes us one step further from who we are; and one step closer to what society thinks we should be.

And so it is that, though humans fret all day about 'winning at weddings' on Instagram, animals don't care two hoots if they made it to the cover of Nat Geo. They don't need constant reminders from opportunist morons in the marketing industry to tell them how to ‘be themselves’, they already know how to do that.

While more evolved species like ourselves, look into the mirror and only see the persona that the billboard wants us to be.
Author's Note:

Don't expect this article to tell you who and how to be. Nature already bestowed you with your own unique set of stripes; your task is to let them show you the way!

Editor's Note:

Share this article so everyone can learn to be a little more like themselves.