I stumbled on the image above this morning and it got me thinking of how much I have carelessly spent in my attempts to fit in with everybody and please other people. From those expensive dates that landed me in some serious debts, to those unplanned nights out with the boys that severely dented my budget. The cost of pleasing others is very high.
When I was growing up, my parents always used to buy gifts for the people back in the village whenever we visited. They would shower them with gifts every time we went to the village, and I never quite understood why they did this. Having grown up and finding myself in similar situations, I have over time understood that those were attempts to please our family members back in the village.
We are humans and it’s our natural desire to try and please others. I get quite fascinated watching my peers struggling to afford their first dates at those costly and very classy joints such as Java House, Dormans, Sankara or Skylux. A date at such a place could cost up to KES 5,000, and that’s on the lower side. As the saying goes, first impression does last, so I guess that’s the reason why most guys prefer taking their prospective girlfriends to such places in order to impress them. Do not get me wrong. I am in no way against such dates. What I am against is the extent people will go, spending money they do not have to please people. A famous actor, Will Smith, is well known for these words:
We spend money that we do not have, on things we do not need, to impress people who do not care.
― Will Smith
We have been socialized to please everybody except ourselves. Even when we are spending money, sometimes we feel guilty when doing good things for ourselves. Our spending is highly driven by others- we buy what our friends consider cool or what our friends have. When the man goes out with his girlfriend, he will automatically have to foot the bill. There’s no law that states that the guy has to foot the bill, but he will do it voluntarily mostly because he cares what she will think of him.
Like in the case of the couple in the above comic, the the kind of society we live in will never be content with us no matter how much we try to please it. There will always be that one thing you are not doing, that one thing you are unable to afford, that new smartphone you do not have. To beat it, you have to be content with yourself first.