Every parent in our culture is somewhat tempted to over-glorify the abilities of their children. A child should at least live up to, if not surpass the legacy of his or her parents. An existing societal notion is that a child will live and subsist to make his parents proud and get a job (that fits the conventional mindset, of course) to fend for himself and take care of his parents. Not that one shouldn’t, but that should be out of love and gratitude and even responsibility, but not obligation.
Sometimes, our guardians let their imaginations run wild with them, when they try to rationalize the extent to what we can achieve. It’s ironic that in this particular aspect, the optimism of our parents know no bounds but in a lot of other scenarios, they are the portrayal of outmost pessimism and negativity. And there are multiple reasons behind this.
It is because, firstly, they just assume that “their dreams” for us, which they probably couldn’t materialize themselves should be our aspirations too. It is not necessary that the son of an engineer has to be at least an engineer or preferably, a ground-breaking scientist. He could be an archaeologist or a photographer if that is what he is passionate about. Why should anyone ever quantify the worth of a dream? Why should anyone force us to make a decision and expect us to comply with one for that matter, which will steer the direction of the rest of our lives? And why should we limit ourselves so acutely that a single accident or mishap will be enough to vacate our souls of all motivation and happiness for the rest of our lives? Why should we not take our passion, which is the crux of our identity, to another level, just because some people don’t consider it ‘ideal’? Our guardians systematically and emotionally influence us from a very tender age to make “that dream” come true, which isn’t necessarily ours, but theirs, regardless of our strengths, knacks and preferences. They have to dictate everything in our lives, because at this stage in their lives , they faced similar limitations. And that is why, they must now exercise absolute control over everything. But, we must not be controlled. Because otherwise, we will be our parents ten to fifteen years later.
Parents are our guides, not owners of our agency. The inherent characterization of parenthood is exactly what we need to oppose. Because, right now, the story of that teenager breaking social barriers and pursuing his passion in a conservative family of an ultra-conservative society is just an illusion, and an utopian idea, that we can only daydream about. It is saddening that the idea of fulfilling dreams is a dream in itself, quite literally. So, we must not let our guards down and we must keep pushing ourselves to the limit. Otherwise, playing our role as the vessel of fulfilling someone else’s dream will result in nothing but broken impetus, crushed willpower, inevitable anguish and irreversible bitterness.