For the majority of human history, the career paths we dedicated ourselves in was most likely decided by our parents. It was either we did what they had done or they would suggest something and we would follow the suggestion. It has only been roughly 200 years in which we have decided for ourselves what we want to be in the future. However, are we truly as free as we believe?
For a lot of people, parents often find a way to influence the decisions we make through subtle indications of what one should do when he or she “grows up”. Ironically, part of growing up is to learn to navigate around these indications. At the simplest level, these indications are made up of what our parents believe to be the “real world”. This is made up of the jobs that our parents can understand and grasp. The jobs that they do not understand are susceptible to ridicule and high levels of suspicion. This then results in them, believing that the job is “beneath us”. We’ve all heard the expression, “this is what a real man/woman should do”.
In these ways, we are often more controlled by our parents than we stand to realize. Not by punishments or insults, but by the unremitting desire to be a good child, or to please our parents. We are controlled by love. Not just love itself, but the fear of losing love should we dare to do what we really want.
Although this seems like a very depressing article, I can assure you that very few parents have disowned their children for choosing the “wrong” career path. In the end, for the most part, the love they feel for us now is larger than the love of what they want us to be.
Our parents deserve kindness and respect but not our lives. We should, in the end, go beyond the path they wish for us to travel by.