We live in sometimes uneasy, hyper-competitive times. Our children are growing up surrounded by a world that is moving too fast, and is loaded with expectations that dwarf the best of us. It’s a race with no finish line, and we all feel compelled to outrun the others.
It is exhausting. And it is ten times more exhausting for the kids who have been thrust into this race without requisite emotional or mental preparations. No wonder, they are overwhelmed and out of their depths.
Peer pressure is a fall out of the dominant environment around us. It is true that peer pressure has been around since forever, but the intensity and the nature of it has morphed into something far more serious and dangerous in the recent times. It’s not just the kids but adults who find themselves buckling under peer pressure, making decisions they end up regretting or simply resenting their life instead of appreciating its many gifts.
Peer pressure is commonly understood as a behavioral pattern governed by the influence of our peers, and translates into our choices and attitudes. Not all peer influence is bad. It is human to learn from people around us and absorb things from our surroundings. But peer pressure, as opposed to influence, is sort of a compulsion that arises from our need to fit, to be liked, and to be counted as one of the group.
At a more common level, peer pressure is the culprit behind people slipping into unacceptable habits. But there is another, deeper facet of peer pressure that can have far reaching consequences if allowed to fester, a facet that is far too common in our country. It is the facet where peer pressure influences not just a stray habit, but entire life choices. Kids being forced into a particular course just because ‘everyone is doing it’ is one of the most common examples of the malice of peer pressure pervading our lives.
The trouble is that in all these cases peer pressure often masquerades as social standard. Not just kids but even adults tend to fall in the trap of abiding by a particular ‘social standard’ even when it is just another case of follow the herd or you’d seem like a threat to the established order. People fail to quit their jobs, refuse to follow their passion and even force their kids to pursue specific career paths simply because it is a ‘social standard’. They succumb to peer pressure without even realizing that they have, and in the process ruin their professional and personal lives, sowing seeds of permanent unhappiness and discontent.
As firm believers in the idea of inborn intelligence and innate potential, we at MindInsight despise the idea of peer pressure even at the most benign level. Every individual is unique with their own unique potential and should be allowed to carve out and follow their own individual path. If the choices of an individual seem to break the norm, the norm needs to readjust, not the individual. To force people into predefined trajectories, and transform kids into pre-designed prototypes is not just wrong, it is fundamentally cruel.
MindInsight is committed to assist every individual in finding their own bliss, and follow a path that leads to their own personal happiness and idea of success. We know that the only way to beat peer pressure is to discover what makes you unique and harness it to its maximum potential, and that is a mission that we are committed to, as individuals and as an organization.