“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
– E. E. Cummings
My daughter has no shortage of people who offer her advice.
Fortunately, most of these people have good intentions. Sometimes, though, people go beyond giving friendly advice and will bluntly try to tell her how to live her life. I’ve told her to be polite and smile at these folks — and ignore them.
I’ve experienced my own share of overbearing advice givers. Sometimes the advice is unwanted but harmless enough: people want me to change the clothes I wear, the style of my haircut, the hobbies I pursue or the music I enjoy. Other times, the “advice” is about more serious life decisions: what career to pursue, who to marry, or even on which side of a moral fence to stand.
In the noise, it’s easy to lose confidence in our own decision making. It’s also easy to follow the advice of someone else just to make them happy, even if it’s not what’s truly in our heart.
I tell my daughter that when making a decision, it is wise to seek out opinions of others and weigh all options, but she must live her own life, and be true to herself, free of the expectations of others.
Simply put: live the life you want, and don’t care too much what other people think. Those who truly care about you will understand and support you.
Choose wisely, and choose for yourself.