Many of us were raised with the notion that our peers will one day stuff cocaine up our nostrils and lodge a joint in-between our lips, this is the fear mongering of today’s parental figures.
Though drugs can be a true issue, the unspoken problem in Western culture is not peer pressure but rather parental pressure. Parents, grandparents, and guardians alike are often stuck in the same mental bondage that their ancestors were, the most common belief being that life is a ‘one size fits all.’
Coming from the Bay Area, I have seen one too many heartbreaking situations involving a teenager who took their own life leaving behind a note explaining the stress and frustrations caused by their parental figures.
I am not here to point blame at parents as the reason behind such unfortunate circumstances, but I am shedding light on the fact that parents have a greater effect on their young than anyone else. Friends have an affect on a child for period of their lives but parents have a deep connection that subconsciously alters the lives of those they nurture. In the case of the Western world, parental figures happen to be the ones pushing kids into inauthentic lives.
A majority of parents fear for their children’s wellbeing and overall success in life which subsequently teaches them to fear the unknown. We are forced into colleges and end up in jobs that have nothing to do with our own inclinations, only to figure out, far down the road, that we did not choose our paths but rather let those we respected choose them for us.
This is not to say that parental figures do not want the best for their children when they pressure them into the norm, but, regardless of the intention, the reality is that parental pressures can be just as harmful, if not more, than peer pressure because parental pressure lasts a lifetime.
Sometimes, we must take a bold stand against the opinions of others, even those who love us most, when it comes to the road we choose to travel in life. Instead of living our lives for their approval, we must choose our own paths. After all, if someone’s love is only based on which school you went to, then there is no love at all.
Edited by. Tayla Hasselbach