Do we live a life of our own
October 15 2020 · 3 min read
In a world where norms rule and confine your actions, freedom feels illusionary. Because if you want the people around you to accept you, you have to take care of the cultural values practiced there and make sure you follow the customs even if you don't like certain beliefs. On the other hand, if you don't do that, you are aware of the punishment, the pressure exerted on you.
Still, people move around, saying that they are free to live a life of their own. However, everything around you regulates your society's specific pattern, and an individual is repressed to follow.
Man is connected to society through social forces, and consequently, he is submitted to immutable laws that society defines and foists on all beings it carries. If he is to fit in a society, he must follow the customs or lose his so-called identity because an individual cannot live in isolation without a society. Every person on his or her own contributes to the structuring of a society, which shapes their lives. The relation of society and an individual is like that of blocks and a building. Separately it is merely a block; together, they make a building. A single block cannot construct a building independently without the others, and it loses its purpose. Likely an individual in isolation will put an end to his identity without reproducing. On that account, adjusting yourself according to the norms of your society becomes essential. Therefore the regularities that every human society has cannot be defied.
When you are born, you do not carry with you a set of natural behaviors: you are not born with a certain style of actions. Rather, it is gradually socialized by people you grow up around. Depending upon the place you are brought up in: what you listen to and how you observe people behaving around you, you build up your own personality. Moreover, your experiences are created by people in your surroundings, and those experiences are how you perceive life in general.
Moreover, social solidarity has a hold on your way of talking, eating, dressing, walking, even thinking, and other habits. Your actions are the results of events happening around you. You react to the ideas that are fed to you. Social facts are just like a disease: a disease that you have not to wish for, but you have to swallow the bitter pill whether you like it or not.
Let's take the example of suicide. The decision to commit suicide may appear to be the most private decision of an individual's psyche. Will it surprise you if I say it is not? Here is how it works: if social factors play no part in a suicidal decision, the suicide rate should have been uniform worldwide. Simultaneously, statistics step by step has shown an unevenly distributed ratio, varying from place to place. And that variation depends upon the effect of region, religion, education level, race, and many other social constituents. Hence it concludes that the prospect of suicide is not utterly arbitrary.
Neither man nor society can be understood individually because they define each other. Cultural values and boundaries set by society for an individual hold the way our lives run. And since the circumstances are out of control of a person, we as humans are not totally free to create a life of our will.