Why You Shouldn’t Care What Anyone Thinks

Because everyone will have a fuckin’ opinion anyway.

It doesn’t mean they give a shit. People just enjoy having opinions.

It’s a hobby around here. Pass judgment, shit all over someone, and then move on with your life.

In the West it’s usually done in silence. Those guys are good at pretending to be nice in social situations, which frankly is a more efficient process for information exchange.

Over here you can be a judgmental bigot out in the open. You can legitimately tell someone off and spew hateful vitriol in their direction under the innocent pretext of ‘wanting to help’. You can give your unsolicited advice on such diverse topics as the hapless victims’ sense of clothing and hairstyle to career and marriage choices, absence of hair follicles, presence of bodyfat, accent and tone of voice, bad breath (this one I tend to agree with), political affinities, religious affinities, favorite restaurant, model of car they drive, and on and on. The opportunities for blind judgment and unsolicited advice (read: bashing) are limitless.

Aunties will judge you over what you are wearing, doing, married to, not married to. These judgments are often prefaced with a ‘betaaaaaaaa’, which should put you on your guard for what is to come next.

Uncles will judge you over what you are wearing, doing, your career, your bank account. They do this in a brusque, gruff manner supposed to invoke respect and show that though they are harsh, it is but a form of tough love that they exhibit.

Your peers will judge you over anything you do which doesn’t fit in with the mold of what you are supposed to be doing ‘at your age’. Bighar gaye ho, kya maraoo ho, you suck man, stop studying so little/much, and so on.

Society at large will judge you over anything you do in an attempt to rise above the quagmire of daily Pakistani living. Everything which benefits you but doesn’t benefit the other is looked upon with barely concealed disdain.

The highly religious will judge you over your lack of religiosity according to their convoluted standards.

The subculture of consumerists will judge you over your lack of material goods, your small house, your Cultus.

The wild mass of nameless, faceless, highly aggressive online hounds judge pretty much everything you do online. With a mothafuckin vengeance! The internet has made it easy to do so; all one needs is a keyboard and Wi-Fi anymore to voice their goofy ass, never-should-be-shared-with-humanity opinion, with no repercussions or consequences whatsoever. Just hop on to any Malala post on Facebook and you’ll see what I mean.

And your parents judge you over EVERYTHING related to you. Let’s just move on.

Each time you do something which goes against the grain you’ll be called out on it. The same people who judge you will then sit down and posit theories as to why you are behaving the way you are over cups of chai and samosas and concerned moustaches (both male and female). Why is he/she being so different? He wasn’t raised right, or her family is crazy, or he was always strange, or she is not Muslim enough, or his father is not Muslim enough, so on and so forth. Sometimes you hear of these things, sometimes you don’t.

The point is – if you stand out even a little, if you try to rise above what society deems acceptable behavior, if you do anything individual, everyone over here will have an opinion about you. And it won’t be pleasant.

Which is exactly why you should not care in the least what anyone thinks.

Opinions never hurt. We ascribe more importance to them than they are worth. And the people spouting these judgments and opinions against you don’t really care. It’s just a hobby for them, and they’ll move on to the next thing as soon as they can.

If anything, having people talk about you shows that you are doing something unique, something different, something original. It shows that you aspire to be more than just another member of the herd. It shows that you are on the right path. It shows that you understand that nothing good comes from following the herd; that all major breakthroughs have been breakouts from conventional ways of thinking. The only ones who change the world are the ones crazy enough to think they can, says the Apple wala.

Good for you, Tim

Good for you, Tim

After all, the only ones who aren’t being judged, especially in this absurdly judgmental place, are the ones who keep their heads down, accept the paths society has prescribed them, stay within the box, pick mediocrity. The price they pay for keeping their ego safe from judgment is high.

So that’s the choice; you can either aspire to be more and risk being attacked, or choose mediocre and safe and comfortable.

Pick wisely.


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