A box. A square. Four equal sides, four equal angles. It’s pretty basic as far as shapes go, right?
But this box holds so much power within its four walls. This box causes so much pressure amongst society. This box has the potential to condition a person into believing what is expected of them.
This box? This is a tick box.
& it has created a tick box society. An obsession where success is considered to look like something along the lines of having a happy family whilst slotting in comfortably to a middle-class family life, of course wonderfully documented on social media with pictures of a wedding, new home, puppy and smiling baby.
In other words, to be happy-or even considered happy- a person ultimately has to settle down in order to reach some form of happiness, which-lets face it, what even is happiness and can it even be generalised?
It’s a sociocultural ideal known as white picket fence thinking, a way to describe ‘the good family life’ that represents a happy domesticated lifestyle. OK, so things have moved on from the 50s when the woman was expected to stay at home and the man went out to work whilst she would raise the children and put dinner on the table at the end of the day. But the basics still remain.
The stigma is still there and it carries a lot of weight for many people. We are expected to find someone, settle down and start a family. Now, this might work for some people but not for everybody- surely it serves society more? But taking on roles or focusing on a particular goal in life because it is expected of you-because you have been conditioned to behave that way, is the real problem here.
Life is about living, it should be about thriving, flourishing and finding your purpose. Not reproducing the next generation because it is expected of us. Surely there has to be more than this anticipated and carefully planned-out construction to life? There has to be more than shaping a life the way generations before us did?
Ticking this box, stops dreams and discoveries of who we are and what we are capable of, it clouds judgement and threatens to allow us to overly focus on what we believe is missing from our lives rather than breaking out of the box and finding out what individually makes us happy and sets us free.
A tick box mentality serves no purpose. Some people are ok being contained inside the box, heck some people are happy and thriving and flourishing inside that box. But that’s their box-not yours.
There doesn’t even have to be a box, there is no box! No box has to be ticked. Don’t let a shape dictate what your future looks like. Don’t let the pressure of society weigh you down. This is your life and you only get one shot at it. So make sure you do you and be the happiest you can doing it.