Monday, 26 May 2014

The Validity of One's Pursuit of Happiness

Disclaimer: Before we proceed I need to make clear that I fully support the proliferation of knowledge and education to all, women and men alike. Furthermore I strongly encourage and admire any individual's personal choice to devote their life to their career. So please do not mistake what you're about to read as suggesting otherwise, because that would not be the case. 

What is a controversial discussion should really be a simple concept: feminism should, and on some level has, liberated women (not globally but arguably in 'developed' societies) in that she has the equal right, as any, to choose what she deems worthy of her life's devotions. That said, there is still this suffocating stigma that pre-defines the boundaries of success for women

Young women today are prescribed this equation for happiness that encompasses independent success that is largely career focused. I see so many people, men and women alike, slaving through university and a corporate job with no real attainment of wisdom or joy. Yet so many are shamed for not adopting this path. I'm not detracting from the importance of an education or discouraging the youthful drive and hunger for success. What I'm trying to emphasis is that one should make such pursuits through their own wilful mindedness. Should this path give them no true value and enrichment then I truly see no purpose for it. 

"Eventually I think I would like to devote myself to my family and children..." said with hesitation. 

"Really?" (Cue speech about the great insult this is to feminism)

In my personal experience through university and a corporate career, I have encountered many occasions where women are questioned for their persuasion towards a family focus lifestyle rather than a 'successful career'. This is only an example of the pressures faced by women today to achieve simply to satisfy the expectations of their peers.Whilst I am not insinuating that this is the case for all women, or that a successful career is not a valid life goal, my point is that as individuals we should feel liberated to pursue happiness, whatever form that may materialise in. Feminism was a movement of liberation. The great achievements of our predecessors should not be manipulated by modern activist to guilt women into passionless pursuits. I have an honest belief that if a woman is happy and free in what she devotes her daily life to, it really is no business of mine, or anyone else, to question or judge her. 

Whilst I have made the very personal choice to attain a university degree and strive towards a corporate career, many of my peers have opted for other routes. Narrowing the focus to simply the female cohort, I know many women who forged this path for many a reasons and I cannot say indefinitely that my happiness surpass theirs. In fact were I to, it would be said with much hesitation. I know one too many high achieving university students or even graduates who lack direction driven by passion. True, unadulterated, raw passion. Often times I feel their focus is misdirected because our society has constructed this artificial standard dictating what qualifies as a thing worth chasing, as a thing lucrative enough to justify our life's reverence.   

Don't let anyone build the confines of what qualifies as a passion or a subject worthy of your pursuit in life. Remove yourself from the measurements and categories constructed around you. Be limitless. I should think that once you forgo the interpretations and ideals of success imposed by society, many real opportunities and possibilities will open to you. Otherwise you will be destined to an endless chase for validation that you have achieved "something" in life as defined by everyone else but you. 

Just a little food for thought.


No comments:

Post a Comment