Let’s Not Care What Others Say

Fikret Cömert
4 minutes

From the moment we come into the world, we form an identity. We set a set of rules for ourselves. We identify the good, the bad, the likable and the dislikable actions. As we move around here, registered in time and space, of course we need to set other registers. A behavior manual. Otherwise it would be impossible for us to communicate and coexist with other people. But it is another thing to be a prisoner of these records.

From the moment we opened our eyes, our environment had expectations of us. For example, we were first asked not to cry. Then came the desire to make a mess, to do this and that. As we grew up, we became acquainted with the rules of society. The “shame” and the “no way” started. We ruined ourselves. On the one hand, good morals were recommended. The moral person was imposed on us with certain definitions. We have internalized all of this, we have built it into our behavior patterns. So far, so good. Each society has developed certain values and ways of doing things according to its own values, and preached them to its own individuals. From Ibn Arabi’s point of view, for example, all of these forms are beautiful, so follow the habits of your own society.

But then we started to realize that we started to act not with our own values but with what was expected of us. Our choice of profession, our choice of spouse, our hobbies that bring us pleasure and awareness, how we should act in a social environment, the way we dress, even the way we wear our hair have all been affected.

Fear is a very important concept, so I feel the need to explain it separately. But the fear of being excluded from the herd must be addressed here. Let society love me, like me, not ostracize me. In fact, I should be right in the middle, I should be one of the pioneers, so that the possibility of being excluded is weakened. Let me first and foremost exclude and condemn those elements that do not conform to the expectations of society, so that my place is secured and I feel safe. Of course, on the other hand, if these contrary movements threaten my values that I have always believed in and adhered to, that I have never questioned, if they reveal the meaninglessness of some of them, I will fall into emptiness, my life, my sense of identity, which I have attached a meaning to, will be disrupted, I cannot allow this.

I feel like dyeing my hair red. Everyone is playing soccer, watching football matches, but I love flowers, watering them, watching them grow and bloom. I want to spend my time on this. My numeracy skills are pretty good, everyone expects me to be an engineer. But I actually want to become a veterinarian and spend my life with animals. They say that someone who ranks high in the exams should definitely choose and study in one of the most popular departments. Classical Turkish music makes me very happy, but my friends always listen to rap, they say Turkish music is the work of grandfathers, it’s not for us. And just last week, when we saw street musicians, when I started dancing to the rhythm, they asked me if I was dancing in public. They said there would be no foreign brides and grooms. I started reading the Qur’an, trying to understand spirituality, and they asked me if I had become backward. I started researching other teachings, and they said, have you gone out of religion and become a heretic?

They said. They say. But there is also the fact that I have come into this world alone, and one day I will enter the grave alone. It is very nice to live life with people, with my family, with society, but it means that I am only responsible for my own life, for how I realize myself and not others. Thought and spirit alone. With this freedom, he should fly as far as he can. Eagles fly alone at great heights. So are very successful people. Even though they are surrounded by millions of people.

Let us not care what others say.

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