and the Challenge of Not Fitting In
At different stages of our lives we have all experienced the challenge
of not being quite as other people have expected us or wanted us
to be. At times, parents, teachers, siblings, spouses, friends,
co-workers, bosses, our children, our students, our church, or the
society at large seem to have their own idea of who we should be,
what we should do, how we should be behaving, or even what and how
we should be thinking.
Often, we have tried to please them, and shape ourselves up according
to their wishes, particularly if those who demanded our conformity
were people we loved, respected, and felt deeply connected with.
For a while, this may have seemed to work, and give us the comfort
of belonging. But with time, we may have started noticing that the
conformity started corroding our spirit and make our hearts sad.
Soon the practice of not singing our own song began to deprive us
from our creative and joyous energy and leave us dry, and apathetic.
"How can we get out of this state?" we ask now. But the
answer might not be as easy or as obvious as we may like it to be.
In this seminar, through the story of the Athenian Philosopher
Socrates, we will explore the essence of what happened then, what
happens now, and assess the measure of the responsibility we all
have to live our own lives, for the Happiness which is Personal
as well as Universal.