How often do you compare yourself with some random standards? Moreover, how is that comparison affecting you from an emotional point of view? What about from an evolutionary point of view?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think standards are bad, especially the ones regarding our health and our safety. The standards I’m referring to are the ones imposed by other people or by our society. As an example, the beauty standards are some of the most applicable standards in today’s society. A beautiful person today is very different than a beautiful person 500 years ago (of course, one is alive and one is not, but that’s not the point here). Another standard is that women should be married and with children by the age of 30. Why? Why should this be a standard?
Standards can lower our self-esteem
If we compare ourselves with TV stars or with models, we can get an instant kick in the butt, and not in the good way. One of the standard ideas nowadays is that you must have lots of money. If we compare our income with this standard idea, we might end up thinking we can never get there. The same thing applies to the idea of beauty stated above.
Standards can determine us do dumb sh*t
While I agree that money is a great facilitator, it shouldn’t be used as a standard that inhibits our actions. Sometimes we’re afraid of doing something that we might end up losing some money or sometimes we might do some crazy sh*t to gain some money (the dudes and dudettes from prison can confirm this).
Furthermore, how many depressed people exist on this planet just because they haven’t had their first kiss until 25 years old? How many sick people are there because they tried to starve themselves just to look thin and beautiful because that’s what they see as being the standard?
Standards ignore our personality
Maybe you don’t want to be married by the age of 30. Maybe you don’t want to be married at all. Maybe you want to travel the world you’re whole life living with money earned from temporary jobs. Why should you have a full time job if it doesn’t suit you?
Maybe you don’t get math, but you are an excellent painter and you love art. Why should you learn advanced math in school if that’s not what you want? Or the other way around. If you love math, why should you spend time in art classes? I hope in your country isn’t like this, but that’s how educational system works in mine.
Standards are used to guide people
While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, people might end up losing themselves in standards instead of trying to find out more about themselves and their uniqueness. With this in mind, I try to ignore the standards that can limit me and my abilities and focus on how I want my life to be.
How do you approach the standards you encounter?