A Lonely life
We live in the world where one is constantly in need for approval from their peers or their social structure.
We are faced with the judgmental eye on a daily basis, where one has to ask; how do I look? Does my dress code fit into the societal norms, is it trendy enough to get the stamp of approval. When I rock my red sneakers, yellow t-shirt, pink socks, green shorts and colourful hair accessories, does this look fit in the so-called normal society. Does it fit in within the cool factor, or am I simply labelled as a weirdo for I am wearing what everyone else isn’t. I’m given names such as a walking rainbow, my peer’s even question if I have escaped from a mental institution because I am not conforming to the standard “it” look; which everyone is so appeased by.
When I walk around the streets singing one of my favourite songs from a reggae artist, I’m easily mistaken for a pothead. I have chosen to grow my dreads, keep my Afro uncombed and have fallen in love with reggae. I have chosen to embrace Mother Nature, sing songs of tranquility, join revolutionary thinkers and indulge in some poetry for I believe that this is a group or culture which allows me to explore what is not within the societal boundaries. My lifestyle is questioned by many because I do not fit into their perfect world. I’m constantly stopped and told I need Jesus for I resemble what makes them uncomfortable. My hobo look is a trend within my own space but because society is so uncomfortable with it I am turned into this insecure being. Where I have to wear what everyone else is wearing, keep my hair kept because that is societal approved. I change my style of music because I hate being labelled a pothead.
Each Sunday I’m off to church, my daily schedule comprises of bible reading, prayer, be around people who we share a common interest of the Christianity and religion as a whole. On my free time I prefer being around those I fellowship with, I’ve made best friends with my church mates for I feel content when I’m around them. I know I can be myself and fear no judgement. I know they accept my craziness and my lifestyle. I know they can give me sound advice when I need it. Even though I have chosen to be within this social bubble of individuals with common interests, on a daily basis I meet people outside my social structure, my comfort zone. At school, I become friends with individuals from all walks of life for we are exposed to various groups within this space. Within my community, I have friends who are not from my social bubble. These people outside my social bubble are constantly looking at me as an outsider, I’m more of a weirdo to them a child who still needs to teach the ways of doing things. At times I’m so ashamed of my Christian lifestyle that I hide it from those outside my social bubble, my peers at school know that I’m as wild as they are for I try by all means to fit. Within my community, I do what other young people do because I’m too shy to be myself. At some point, I lose my self-worth because I concentrate too much on what everyone else is thinking of me.
We live in a society, where one believes that when the masses do it, therefore, it is okay, that is societal approved. We are made to believe that when something is societal approved we’re free from judgement and being labelled as an outsider. We forget ourselves in the process just in a name of fitting in. On every public holiday, most young people do not want to see themselves within a religious structure or with their fellow church mates because society has made us believe that this lifestyle is not cool but boring and dull. We hide our bibles when we’re in a public space because we fear what others will say.
Young people are faced with an epidemic of wanting to belong. The few that stand out are ridiculed on their daily basis but what keeps them going is, they know who they are and what they stand for. Who they want to be, and they are the type of leaders needed within our society.
“If you do not stand for something you will fall for everything”
Matthew 5:13-16; “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
By; T. Sibiya