Saturday, May 08, 2004

Fulfilling Expectations

This is a previous entry that I wrote but never posted. I think it was around mid-February. Kowagaru asked me the following question:

This is really random but what are your thoughts on living up to your parent's expectations?

I don't know if this question is relevant for him any longer, but I thought I'd put up my response since it's a topic that is related to my own story...

As I tell all my students, never live for someone else. Only live for yourself. The only expectations you should be living up to are your own, for if you cannot satsify yourself, then chances are you cannot satisfy anyone else. So do what you want to do, as long as what you do does not infringe on the physical or spiritual well-being of others.

It has also been my considered opinion that parents--for the most part--only want what's best for their children. Of course, this doesn't mean that they are always successful in conveying this attitude. Some parents may push their kids into studying a specific field, because they believe certain fields will prove financially rewarding and ultimately ensure their kids' happiness through economic stability. I'm sure many of you have experienced this first hand or at least have heard of parents wanting their son or daughter to become a doctor or lawyer or engineer. But as I said, this is their attempts to ensure the child's security and for them security = happiness.

But if you do what you want to do and are successful and happy, I have to believe that your parents will be happy, and that you will have fulfilled their expectations.

Have your parents ever insisted on a particular course of study for you? Has the pressure caused stress? If so, how do--or did--you cope?

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