Define. The word the world is desperately trying to erase. We feel confined. Trapped by an opinion lurking in someone else’s mind. Or maybe it’s your own. Locked in by the judgements you have made of yourself. Whether you have great expectations of a future yet to be had, or believe you will never be able to dig yourself out of the pit of despair you created, you have defined yourself in some way or another. You locked the door and threw away the key. You trapped yourself by a definition you made of your name. Presumptions from others became your own, and you became angry. Angry at the world; angry at yourself for letting anything define you. Everyone is screaming into your ear that being defined will ruin your life. No happiness can be found in a mind poisoned by the thoughts of others. Letting concerns of the world leak into your mind will destroy any chance at having a moment of pure bliss. Judgements of the world weighing down on your every move; it seems like too much. Far too much for any one person to handle. But what if we redefined how we think of “being defined”. What if instead of letting someone’s opinion poison our every thought, keeping us up at night, we used it for good. To better ourselves and the world. Now let’s just make this clear, I’m not trying to tell you to let people walk all over you. I’m not telling you to put up with a cruel world that seems that is has turned against you. But I’m also not telling you to completely block off someone’s opinion if you don’t agree with it, or even if it is 100 % untrue.
Everyone you have ever known has formed an opinion around you by what you show them, or what you don’t, and for the most part all of those people could tell you a list about what they dislike about you. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be a terrible thing. A girl, told she will never make it past high school, uses the negative definitions of herself to push through, graduating and later going on to a higher education. A boy surrounded by the foul words of others, telling him he’ll never make friends unless he is crude and malicious. Instead of falling into their trap, he makes a new definition of what he is supposed to be. He is kind and caring, without the fear of an old outdated definition. A woman who is told she is too old to start anew, creates her dream company always keeping those thoughts that once held her back in mind. Her new found love of life is built off of the opinions that once held her so far down. If we were not so afraid of judgements, who knows what we could accomplish. Knowing how to deal with unwanted opinions can only make us stronger.
Instead of telling someone to “not let anyone define them” and unleashing them into a imperfect world where we know judgements are impossible to avoid, let’s teach them. Be with them through the pain and frustration of not being liked by everyone. Help them through the process of learning you do not have to please others to survive. Challenge them to face those judgements head on, instead of avoiding them in every way possible. Instead of letting people’s words and opinions hold us down until we drown, let’s use them for good. Use them to push yourself above. Above those who have never been challenged. Above those who are too afraid to listen and fight back. Above those who would rather stomp on someone else’s life than build their own up. So I leave you with this, Do not be afraid of being defined by those who do not know, or even those who know you well. Know that you really can help change the world through helping our generation find a better way of spreading our opinions instead of hiding behind a computer screen attacking everything and anyone we dislike. Do not spread hatred, but also know you are not a terrible human being if a judgement of another passes through your mind. Judgements are apart of human nature, whether you are an optimist or pessimist there are bound to be things you disagree with. We shouldn’t be afraid of speaking our mind, but we should learn how to do it in a way that allows us to still always treat others with respect and compassion. “Anyone can find the dirt in someone, be the one that finds the gold”(Proverbs 11:27). Religious views set aside, think of this as an esteemed proverb if you will. A work of art written by a man who is considered by many to be the smartest man to ever live. A man who made so many mistakes it would take a book to fill up, but he tried greatly to learn from them, even though he sometimes failed. Learn to accept your judgements, or even learn to love them and maybe the world will join you.