Societal Expectations Quotes

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One must conform to the baseness of an age or become neurotic.
Robert Musil
When it comes to meditation, one minute is better than zero. Something is an improvement from nothing.
Milan Kordestani (I'm Just Saying: The Art of Civil Discourse: A Guide to Maintaining Courteous Communication in an Increasingly Divided World)
Focusing on and prioritizing civil discourse ensures that you don’t miss great opportunities to learn and grow with others.
Milan Kordestani (I'm Just Saying: The Art of Civil Discourse: A Guide to Maintaining Courteous Communication in an Increasingly Divided World)
Though civil discourse may be especially challenging to facilitate during fractured times, the process itself has stood the test of time for centuries.
Milan Kordestani (I'm Just Saying: The Art of Civil Discourse: A Guide to Maintaining Courteous Communication in an Increasingly Divided World)
Whatever happened to our dreams? The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind. The sheer number of experiences I could have is uncountable, breathtaking, and I'm sitting here refreshing my inbox. We live trapped in loops, reliving a few days over and over, and we envision only a handful of paths laid out ahead of us. We see the same things each day, we respond the same way, we think the same thoughts, each day a slight variation on the last, every moment smoothly following the gentle curves of societal norms. We act like if we just get through today, tomorrow our dreams will come back to us. And no, I don't have all the answers. I don't know how to jolt myself into seeing what each moment could become. But I do know one thing: the solution doesn't involve watering down my every little idea and creative impulse for the sake of someday easing my fit into a mold. It doesn't involve tempering my life to better fit someone's expectations. It doesn't involve constantly holding back for fear of shaking things up. This is very important, so I want to say it as clearly as I can: FUCK. THAT. SHIT.
Randall Munroe
No one has the right to demand that your body be something other than what it is.
Agnostic Zetetic
It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false.
Leo Tolstoy (The Death of Ivan Ilych)
Where woman do not fit the Iron Maiden [societal expectations/assumptions about women's bodies], we are now being called monstrous, and the Iron Maiden is exactly that which no woman fits, or fits forever. A woman is being asked to feel like a monster now though she is whole and fully physically functional. The surgeons are playing on the myth's double standard for the function of the body. A man's thigh is for walking, but a woman's is for walking and looking "beautiful." If women can walk but believe our limbs look wrong, we feel that our bodies cannot do what they are meant to do; we feel as genuinely deformed and disabled as the unwilling Victorian hypochondriac felt ill.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Something was unfurling within me from behind the fear of societal expectation. Something true and deep. A part of my soul I'd always known was there but never acknowledged. I knew I'd never completely stop playing the role assigned to me in this life, but I would never, ever, let it compromise me.
Natasha Boyd (The Indigo Girl)
All of us, whether vivisector or vegan, have been subject to mechanisms undercutting sympathy for animals. How long and to what extent we submit to these mechanisms is not a matter of rationality: to cut off our feelings and support animal exploitation is rational, given societal expectations and sanctions; but to assert our feelings and oppose animal exploitation is also rational, given the pain involved in losing our natural bonds with animals. So our task is not to pass judgment on others' rationality, but to speak honestly of the loneliness and isolation of anthropocentric society, and of the damage done to every person expected to hurt animals.
Brian Luke
I'm a good girl. I am pretty. I am always happy-go-lucky.
Louise O'Neill (Only Ever Yours)
The third proved problematic. Until the case reached it's end I was reduced to nothing but an absent gaze. Think of it this way: I was a pair of abstract eyes walking around wearing my flesh as a disguise. Living as such, there was no point in expecting any form of societal responsibility or human reaction.
Kiyoshi Kasai
The problem with the ‘herd’ is that our voice is never ‘heard’.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
She wanted to tell the girl: It’s complicated. I am now a person I never imagined I would be, and I don’t know how to square that. I would like to be content, but instead I am stuck inside a prison of my own creation, where I torment myself endlessly, until I am left binge-eating Fig Newtons at midnight to keep from crying. I feel as though societal norms, gendered expectations, and the infuriating bluntness of biology have forced me to become this person even though I’m having a hard time parsing how, precisely, I arrived at this place. I am angry all the time. I would one day like to direct my own artwork toward a critique of these modern-day systems that articulates all this, but my brain no longer functions as it did before the baby, and I am really dumb now. I am afraid I will never be smart or happy or thin again. I am afraid I might be turning into a dog. Instead, she said, smiling, I love it. I love being a mom.
Rachel Yoder (Nightbitch)
Liberating ourselves from the traditional strictures of marriage altogether, and/or transforming those strictures to include all of us -- gay, feminist, career-focused, baby crazy, monogamous, non-monogamous, skeptical, romantic, and everyone in between -- is the challenge facing this generation. As we consciously opt out or creatively reimagine marriage one loving couple at a time, we'll be able to shift societal expectations wholesale, freeing younger generations from some of the antiquated assumptions we've faced (that women always want to get married and men always shy away from commitment, that gender parity somehow disempowers men, that turning 30 makes an unmarried woman into an old maid).
Courtney E. Martin (Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists)
abridged list of things to let go if you want to be happy: old versions of yourself / ideas about who and what you were supposed to be / other people’s expectations of you / societal expectations of you / gender norms / heteronormativity / internalized ideas about what your life is supposed to look like / the idea that romantic love makes you whole / relationships that cause you more grief than they’re worth / people who cross your boundaries / family that makes you feel unsafe or unwelcome / the need to make your happiness look like everyone else’s
Trista Mateer (Aphrodite Made Me Do It)
Coming-of-age tales and villain origins have a lot in common. Teens are fighting for their independence and against familial pressures. Villains are frequently fighting against societal and moral expectations in their origins.
Samantha Lane (Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy)
There is no such thing as a relationship without a contract. All relationships are governed by contracts, be they implied or explicit. Relationship contracts are not legal contracts, though sometimes societal expectations of relationships get worked into law (this can come into play in situations like divorce as well as the legal establishment and relinquishment of paternity). The society in which you grew up provided you with a set of template contracts to which you implicitly agree whenever you enter a relationship, even a non-sexual one. For example, a common clause of many societal template contracts among friends involves agreeing to not sleep with a friend's recent ex. While you may never explicitly agree to not sleep with a friend's ex, your friend will absolutely feel violated if they discover that you shacked up with the person who dumped them just a week earlier. Essentially, these social contracts tell an individual when they have “permission” to have specific emotional reactions. While this may not seem that impactful, these default standards can have a significant impact on one’s life. For example, in the above reaction, a friend who just got angry out of the blue at a member of their social group would be ostracized by others within the group while a friend who became angry while citing the “they slept with my ex” contract violation may receive social support from the friend group and internally feel more justified in their retaliatory action. To ferret out the contractual aspects of relationships in which you currently participate, think through something a member of that relationship might do that would have you feeling justifiably violated, even though they never explicitly agreed to never take such action. This societal system of template contracts may have worked in a culturally and technologically homogenous world without frequent travel, but within the modern world, assumed template contracts cause copious problems.
Simone Collins (The Pragmatist's Guide to Relationships: Ruthlessly Optimized Strategies for Dating, Sex, and Marriage)
I am more than what others want of me. I am more than what society expects of me. I will not let my life be defined by a box meant to hold me down.
The Thoughtful Beast
Trading is not the same as investing. Trading includes a lot of fear, lack, and scarcity thinking. Traders aim to buy low and sell high in the quickest turnaround time possible, always fearful of potential outcomes and always needing to incessantly monitor the status of things and micromanage results. However, Investing includes a lot of faith, vision, trust, and endurance. Investors look at larger societal patterns and systems. Investors have wealth consciousness and they expect to earn exponentially larger profits over a longer timeframe.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
She grew tired of shielding her body, For societal expectation and propriety, Double standards and sobriety, Ideologies of prudent cries, And boys who made her tell them lies. She wanted a man who’d destroy her reputation, One strong enough to feed her unruly temptation, Not leave her alone in risk of damnation. Someone strong enough to make her feel, Like a free woman who needn’t yield, Run with her naked through a field. Live on the fringe free of restriction, Treat her as a woman, undo the affliction. A man who’d take her breath with desire, Someone with whom her passions could conspire, A man strong enough to keep up with her fire.
Jacqueline Simon Gunn
Norway, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom are among the least religious societies on [E]arth. According to the United Nations' Human Development Report (2005) they are also the healthiest, as indicated by life expectancy, adult literacy, per capita income, educational attainment, gender equality, homicide rate, and infant mortality. Insofar as there is a crime problem in Western Europe, it is largely the product of immigration. Seventy percent of the inmates of France's jails, for instance, are Muslim. The Muslims of Western Europe are generally not atheists. Conversely, the fifty nations now ranked lowest in terms of the United Nations' [H]uman [D]evelopment [I]ndex are unwaveringly religious. Other analyses paint the same picture: the United States is unique among wealthy democracies in its level of religious adherence; it is also uniquely beleaguered by high rates of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, and infant mortality. The same comparison holds true within the United States itself: Southern and Midwestern states, characterized by the highest levels of religious literalism, are especially plagued by the above indicators of societal dysfunction, while the comparatively secular states of the Northeast conform to European norms.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
Reason #12: Personal shit gives me hives, wheter it's learning about others or giving them things about myself. This is mostly because I hate small talk. Every minute means something. Every hour. Every second. I don't like wasting anything for the sake of goddam normalcy and societal expectations. Fuck society.
Eden O'Neill (Savage Little Lies (Court Legacy, #2))
Once established, the young girl's dependency is systematically supported as she proceeds through childhood. For being "nice" - nonchallenging, nonconfronting, noncomplaining - she's rewarded with good grades, the approval of her parents and teachers, and the affection of her peers. What reason is there for her to turn deviant or nonconformist? The going is good, so she conforms. Increasingly, she patterns herself after what's expected of her.
Colette Dowling (The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independence)
It’s an interesting idea, but I would challenge you to decide: Do you hate girls? Or do you hate the expectations put on girls by society?
Liz Prince (Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir)
As long as I can remember it’s been, ‘Be a good team player, get along, follow the rules.’ Well who made those rules?
Vincent H. O'Neil (A Pause in the Perpetual Rotation (The Unused Path))
Good explanations enable children to develop a code of ethics that often coincides with societal expectations; when they don’t square up, children rely on the internal compass of values rather than the external compass of rules.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)
Our mailman was a dance teacher at night & I would watch him sometimes to see if he would deliver mail differently than the others. I expected to see him leap over bushes with his toes pointing like arrows, but all he ever did was walk.
Brian Andreas (Still Mostly True: Collected Stories & Drawings)
In the United States teen rebellion is considered standard, putting the American adolescent in the awkward position of having to rebel in order to conform to societal expectations. For an obedient rule-following teen like I was, this is utterly flummoxing.
Jennifer Traig (Act Natural: A Cultural History of Misadventures in Parenting)
If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." In short, entertainment fulfills our expectations. Art, on the other hand, makes no compromise for public taste as it inspires us to consider life's complexities and ambiguities. Art is the opposition testing the strength of societal and cultural values-values that are thoughtlessly adopted by the mass of individuals living unexamined lives and all who cannot imagine a different way of seeing life.
William Missouri Downs (The Art of Theatre: A Concise Introduction)
1. Myth: Without God, life has no meaning. There are 1.2 billion Chinese who have no predominant religion, and 1 billion people in India who are predominantly Hindu. And 65% of Japan's 127 million people claim to be non-believers. It is laughable to suggest that none of these billions of people are leading meaningful lives. 2. Myth: Prayer works. Studies have now shown that inter-cessionary prayer has no effect whatsoever of the health or well-being of the subject. 3. Myth: Atheists are immoral. There are hundreds of millions of non-believers on the planet living normal, decent, moral lives. They love their children, care about others, obey laws, and try to keep from doing harm to others just like everyone else. In fact, in predominantly non-believing countries such as in northern Europe, measures of societal health such as life expectancy at birth, adult literacy, per capita income, education, homicide, suicide, gender equality, and political coercion are better than they are in believing societies. 4. Myth: Belief in God is compatible with science. In the past, every supernatural or paranormal explanation of phenomena that humans believed turned out to be mistaken; science has always found a physical explanation that revealed that the supernatural view was a myth. Modern organisms evolved from lower life forms, they weren't created 6,000 years ago in the finished state. Fever is not caused by demon possession. Bad weather is not the wrath of angry gods. Miracle claims have turned out to be mistakes, frauds, or deceptions. We have every reason to conclude that science will continue to undermine the superstitious worldview of religion. 5. Myth: We have immortal souls that survive death. We have mountains of evidence that makes it clear that our consciousness, our beliefs, our desires, our thoughts all depend upon the proper functioning of our brains our nervous systems to exist. So when the brain dies, all of these things that we identify with the soul also cease to exist. Despite the fact that billions of people have lived and died on this planet, we do not have a single credible case of someone's soul, or consciousness, or personality continuing to exist despite the demise of their bodies. 6. Myth: If there is no God, everything is permitted. Consider the billions of people in China, India, and Japan above. If this claim was true, none of them would be decent moral people. So Ghandi, the Buddha, and Confucius, to name only a few were not moral people on this view. 7. Myth: Believing in God is not a cause of evil. The examples of cases where it was someone's belief in God that was the justification for their evils on humankind are too numerous to mention. 8. Myth: God explains the origins of the universe. All of the questions that allegedly plague non-God attempts to explain our origins still apply to the faux explanation of God. The suggestion that God created everything does not make it any clearer to us where it all came from, how he created it, why he created it, where it is all going. In fact, it raises even more difficult mysteries: how did God, operating outside the confines of space, time, and natural law 'create' or 'build' a universe that has physical laws? We have no precedent and maybe no hope of answering or understanding such a possibility. What does it mean to say that some disembodied, spiritual being who knows everything and has all power, 'loves' us, or has thoughts, or goals, or plans? 9. Myth: There's no harm in believing in God. Religious views inform voting, how they raise their children, what they think is moral and immoral, what laws and legislation they pass, who they are friends and enemies with, what companies they invest in, where they donate to charities, who they approve and disapprove of, who they are willing to kill or tolerate, what crimes they are willing to commit, and which wars they are willing to fight.
Matthew S. McCormick
We hated the gym. We loved it. We escaped to it. We avoided it. We had complicated relationships with our bodies, while at the same time insisting that we loved them unconditionally. We were sure we had better, more important things to do than worry about them, but the slender yoga bodies of moms in Lululemon at school pickup taunted us. Their figures hinted at wheatgrass shots, tennis clubs, and vagina steaming treatments. We found them aspirational. So we sweated on the elliptical and lifted ten-pound weights, inching closer to the bodies we told ourselves we were too evolved to want.
Chandler Baker (Whisper Network)
We talk about normal, and for legal and practical reasons set a bar for expected societal norms. But can any of us really claim normality?” Rese
Kristen Heitzmann (Secrets (The Michelli Family Series, #1))
This was the societal web of niceties and formalities and expected good female behavior that often suffocated her.
Marjan Kamali (The Stationery Shop)
People lose their jobs over this sort of thing. They lose their friends. Their families. They lose everything.
Chris Bohjalian (Trans-Sister Radio)
societal norms, gendered expectations, and the infuriating bluntness of biology have forced me to become this person even though I’m having a hard time parsing how, precisely, I arrived at this place.
Rachel Yoder (Nightbitch)
Responsibility is a societal creation. No one is truly responsible for another. You do not owe your children anything. They do not owe you anything. If you wish to do, then do. If they wish to do, they may also do. That which comes from the heart is natural and satisfying. That which comes from the idea of responsibility is forced, artificial, and often produces resentment and the expectation for reciprocation.
Kapil Gupta (Direct Truth: Uncompromising, non-prescriptive Truths to the enduring questions of life)
That poor girl's been brainwashed into thinking her beauty is all she's worth, because from the time she was a little child she's been getting compliments about her beauty. And it becomes something you think you owe other people.
Rose McGowan (Brave)
Women retain their dependence needs long past the developmental point at which those needs are normal and healthy. Unbeknownst to others - and worse, unbeknownst to ourselves - we carry dependency within us like some autoimmune disease. We carry it with us from kindergarten through college and graduate school, into our careers, and into the convenient "arrangement" of our marriages. (...) Much of the time - for many of us, all of the time - our unwillingness to stand on our own two feet goes unnoticed because it's expected. Women are relational creatures. They nurture and need. This, we have been told for many, many years, is nature. And although it cripples us, we have to let it go unquestioned.
Colette Dowling (The Cinderella Complex: Women's Hidden Fear of Independence)
Reasoning does create a paradox: it leads both to more rule following and more rebelliousness. By explaining moral principles, parents encourage their children to comply voluntarily with rules that align with important values and to question rules that don’t. Good explanations enable children to develop a code of ethics that often coincides with societal expectations; when they don’t square up, children rely on the internal compass of values rather than the external compass of rules.
Adam Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)
Anxious behaviour is rewarded in our culture. Being high strung, wound up, frenetic and soooo busy has cachet. I ask someone, “How are you?” and even if they’re kicking back in a caravan park in the outback with a beer watching the sunset, their default response is, “Gosh, so busy, out of control, crazy times.” And they wear it as a badge of honour. This means that many of us deny we have a problem and keep going and going. Indeed, the more anxious we are, the more we have to convince ourselves we don’t have a problem. This is ironic, or paradoxical. And it seems awfully cruel.
Sarah Wilson (First, We Make the Beast Beautiful: A New Story About Anxiety)
My sin was to pursue a career as a poet and to desire an identity beyond that of wife and mother. As a result, I am not worthy of being a significant part of my son's life anymore. I was written off for daring to believe I could exist as an individual rather than simply an extension of my family.
Maryam Diener (Beyond Black There Is No Colour: The Story of Forough Farrokhzad)
In fact, he often seeks out ways to rebel against societal norms and is constantly challenging people’s expectations and forcing them to confront their biases. Dex must have inherited that attitude from his father, because he generally avoids anyone considered “popular” and finds rather creative ways to stand up to anyone judging him—or his family. (His Foxfire records show numerous detentions assigned as a result of pranks he played on prodigies bullying him—and it should be noted that those prodigies were also punished for instigating the situation. Foxfire must discipline misbehavior, but the Mentors and principal always strive to be fair.)
Shannon Messenger (Unlocked (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #8.5))
...And maybe folks in Muskox Hollow thought their arrangement was strange, or their parties too rambunctious, or that a lady should have a family and children instead of two gentlemen and thirteen tiny dogs, but no...I don't think Peder Johansen was terribly scandalous.' 'Scandalous or not, my love for the legend of Sullen Johansen was now exponential.
Carly Heath (The Reckless Kind)
Miss Boyd’s voyages to Greenland were conducted during a transitional period in polar exploration between “the Golden Age,” in which conquering the poles was accomplished by overland routes and by sea, and the modern technological era heralded by early polar flights by Amundsen, Ellsworth, and Byrd. Gillis wrote that Louise Arner Boyd “represented one of the last revivals of a Victorian phenomenon the wealthy explorer who poured a personal fortune into expeditions aimed at advancing science and satisfying profound personal curiosity.” [3] In rejecting a sedate and sheltered life as a wealthy wife and mother, she defied societal expectations. But she also challenged the ideal of a polar explorer as defined by manliness, stoicism, and heroism. Her seven daring expeditions to northern Norway and Greenland between 1926 and 1955 paved the way for later female polar explorers,
Joanna Kafarowski (The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame: A Life of Louise Arner Boyd)
The same thing happens with the human default for happiness. Parental or societal pressure, belief systems, and unwarranted expectations come along and overwrite some of the original programming. The “you” who started out happily cooing in your crib, playing with your toes, gets caught up in a flurry of misconceptions and illusions. Happiness becomes a mysterious goal you seek but can’t quite grasp, rather than something simply there for you each morning when you open your eyes.
Mo Gawdat (Solve For Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy)
How do you judge the professionals you patronize? Too many people judge them by display factors. Extra points are given to those who wear expensive clothes, drive luxury automobiles, and live in exclusive neighborhoods. They assume a professional is likely to be mediocre, even incompetent, if he lives in a modest home and drives a three-year-old Ford Crown Victoria. Very, very few people judge the quality of the professionals they use by net worth criteria. Many professionals have told us they must look successful to convince their customers/clients that they are.
Thomas J. Stanley (The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy)
If there were a strong correlation between Christian conservatism and societal health, we might expect to see some sign of it in red-state America. We don’t. Of the twenty-five cities with the lowest rates of violent crime, 62 percent are in “blue” states and 38 percent are in “red” states. Of the twenty-five most dangerous cities, 76 percent are in red states, 24 percent in blue states. In fact, three of the five most dangerous cities in the United States are in the pious state of Texas. The twelve states with the highest rates of burglary are red. Twenty-four of the twenty-nine states with the highest rates of theft are red. Of the twenty-two states with the highest rates of murder, seventeen are red. Of course, correlational data of this sort do not resolve questions of causality—belief in God may lead to societal dysfunction; societal dysfunction may foster a belief in God; each factor may enable the other; or both may spring from some deeper source of mischief. Leaving aside the issue of cause and effect, however, these statistics prove that atheism is compatible with the basic aspirations of a civil society; they also prove, conclusively, that widespread belief in God does not ensure a society’s health.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
Once upon a time there was a boy who knew what he was going to be from the very moment he was born. As soon as he was able to talk, he told everyone, I am a builder of dreams. No one in his family had any idea what that meant, except maybe his Aunt Dorothy, who knew about dreams & how they form you into the thing you’re going to be, even when you think you have other plans. The rest of his family did things like work with numbers & fix old cars & bake bread in a bakery. When he first told them what he was going to be, they thought it was cute & then, when it didn’t stop, it was something not to be mentioned at family gatherings & finally, it was something that would lead to personal suffering if he didn’t start getting his head on straight, by god. So, he stopped saying it out loud, but he never forgot & when he got older, he moved away & his family told the neighbors he was working as a manager & every one nodded & was pleased that he’d finally come around to viewing life as it was & not how you wish it would be. But he didn’t really care because he was building things of air & sunlight & the laughter of children & the sharp smell of lighter fluid at a summer barbecue & the flash of color on the throat of a hummingbird & all of them were things that had no real name, but people felt them all the same. They felt them all the same...
Brian Andreas (Still Mostly True: Collected Stories & Drawings)
The time we spend in retirement has grown substantially, but the amount of work we do to fund it has not. The average person born before 1945 could expect to enjoy only about eight years of retirement before being permanently eliminated from the living, but someone born in 1971 can expect more like twenty years of retirement, and someone born in 1998 can, on current trends, expect perhaps thirty-five years—but all funded in each case by roughly forty years of labor. Most nations haven’t begun to face up to the long-term costs of all these unwell, unproductive people who just go on and on. We have, in short, a lot of problems ahead of us all, both personally and societally.
Bill Bryson (The Body: A Guide for Occupants)
voluntary obligations Moms and dads teach us things as children. Teachers, mentors, the government, and laws all give us guidelines to navigate life, rules to abide by in the name of accountability and order. I’m not talking about those obligations. I’m talking about the ones we make with ourselves. The YOU versus YOU obligations. Not the societal regulations and expectations that we acknowledge and endow for anyone other than ourselves, these are faith-based responsibilities that we make on our own, the ones that define our constitution and character. They are secrets with our self, personal protocols, private counsel in the court of our own conscience, and while nobody will give us a medal or throw us a party when we abide by them, no one will apprehend us when we don’t, because no one will know, except us.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
While political affiliation in the united States is not a perfect indicator of religiosity, it is no secret that the 'red [Republican] states' are primarily red due to the overwhelming political influence of conservative Christians. If there were a strong correlation between Christian conservatism and societal health, we might expect to see some sign of it in red-state America. We don't. Of the twenty-five cities with the lowest rates of violent crime, 62 percent are in 'blue' [Democrat] states, and 38 percent are in 'red' [Republican] states. Of the twenty-five most dangerous cities, 76 percent are in red states, and 24 percent are in blue states. In fact, three of the five most dangerous cities in the U.S. are in the pious state of Texas. The twelve states with the highest rates of burglary are red. Twenty-four of the twenty-nine states with the highest rates of theft are red. Of the twenty-two states with the highest reated or murder, seventeen are red.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
ASK FOR HELP. The anger that women feel at being treated unfairly, at recognizing societal hostility to their identities, is made significantly worse by low expectations. Wanting more and demanding more probably doesn’t come easily because low expectations are feminine. Low expectations, feelings of inadequacy, and low self-esteem are the driving engine of the self-help industry. Do you know when you need self-help? When no one else is helping you. An ideology of personal satisfaction and improvement is no substitute for systemic restructuring for liberation. It is no accident that the explosion of the self-help industry, one that to a great extent feeds off of women’s sense of inadequacy, coincided with the rise of choice feminism and neoliberal economics. Like choice feminism, self-help also reduced the need for social and state commitments to change by placing the blame for reduced circumstances on people who don’t have the time, money, or resources to “help themselves.
Soraya Chemaly (Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger)
Christians like yourself invariably declare that monsters like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and Kim Il Sung spring from the womb of atheism. ... The problem with such tyrants is not that they reject the dogma of religion, but that they embrace other life-destroying myths. Most become the center of a quasi-religious personality cult, requiring the continual use of propaganda for its maintenance. There is a difference between propaganda and the honest dissemination of information that we (generally) expect from a liberal democracy. ... Consider the Holocaust: the anti-Semitism that built the Nazi death camps was a direct inheritance from medieval Christianity. For centuries, Christian Europeans had viewed the Jews as the worst species of heretics and attributed every societal ill to their continued presence among the faithful. While the hatred of Jews in Germany expressed itself in a predominately secular way, its roots were religious, and the explicitly religious demonization of the Jews of Europe continued throughout the period. The Vatican itself perpetuated the blood libel in its newspapers as late as 1914. And both Catholic and Protestant churches have a shameful record of complicity with the Nazi genocide. Auschwitz, the Soviet gulags, and the killing fields of Cambodia are not examples of what happens to people when they become too reasonable. To the contrary, these horrors testify to the dangers of political and racial dogmatism. It is time that Christians like yourself stop pretending that a rational rejection of your faith entails the blind embrace of atheism as a dogma. One need not accept anything on insufficient evidence to find the virgin birth of Jesus to be a preposterous idea. The problem with religion—as with Nazism, Stalinism, or any other totalitarian mythology—is the problem of dogma itself. I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence in support of their core beliefs.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
Sam Harris in his Letter to a Christian Nation, are nevertheless striking. While political party affiliation in the United States is not a perfect indicator of religiosity, it is no secret that the ‘red [Republican] states’ are primarily red due to the overwhelming political influence of conservative Christians. If there were a strong correlation between Christian conservatism and societal health, we might expect to see some sign of it in red-state America. We don’t. Of the twenty-five cities with the lowest rates of violent crime, 62 percent are in ‘blue’ [Democrat] states, and 38 percent are in ‘red’ [Republican] states. Of the twenty-five most dangerous cities, 76 percent are in red states, and 24 percent are in blue states. In fact, three of the five most dangerous cities in the U.S. are in the pious state of Texas. The twelve states with the highest rates of burglary are red. Twenty-four of the twenty-nine states with the highest rates of theft are red. Of the twenty-two states with the highest rates of murder, seventeen are red.
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion: 10th Anniversary Edition)
If one (inescapable) group threatens another group with violence but also—as a group—shows the victimized group some kindness, an attachment between the groups will develop. This is what we refer to as Societal (or Cultural) Stockholm Syndrome) and it is expected to develop under Situation 3 Generalized Stockholm Syndrome conditions. That is, it is expected to develop in a culture in which it is socially mandated and socially predictable that members of the oppressor group will both victimize and be kind to members of the oppressed group. However, the identity of the particular member of the oppressor group who metes out the violence or shows kindness to any particular member of the oppressed group is random and may be determined by variables such as physical proximity. Because the transactions between oppressor and oppressed group members are pervasive and the traumatizers are omnipresent, members of the victim group perceive that they cannot escape the abuse and therefore look to their traumatizers for nurturance and protection. A Stockholm Syndrome psychology is expected to generalize to any and all interactions with members of the violent group, even members of that group who are not themselves violent, or who are less violent, toward members of the victimized group.
Dee L.R. Graham (Loving to Survive: Sexual Terror, Men's Violence, and Women's Lives (Feminist Crosscurrents, 3))
The truth about my family was that we disappointed one another. When I heard the word 'disappoint,' I tasted toast, slightly burned. But when I saw the word written, I thought of it first and foremost as the combining or the collapsing together of the words 'disappear' and 'point,' as in how something in us ceased to exist the moment someone let us down. Small children understood this better than adults, this irreparable diminution of the self that occurred at each instance, large and small, of someone forgetting a promise, arriving late, losing interest, leaving too soon, and otherwise making us feel like a fool. That was why children, in the face of disappointments, large and small, were so quick to cry and scream, often throwing their bodies to the ground as if their tiny limbs were on fire. That was a good instinct. We, the adults or the survivors of our youth, traded in instinct for a societal norm. We stayed calm. We swallowed the hurt. We forgave the infraction. We ignored that our skin was on fire. We became our own fools. Sometimes, when we were very successful, we forgot entirely the memory of the disappointment. The loss that resulted, of course, could not be undone. What was gone was gone. We just could no longer remember how we ended up with so much less of our selves. Why we expected nothing, why we deserved so little, and why we brought strangers into our lives to fill the void.
Monique Truong (Bitter in the Mouth)
...And that's the crucial element of life experience that so many of us avoid, you know. Trying something new, taking that single leap of faith into the utterly and absolutely unknown. Into the different. Those who take that leap are the ones who challenge whatever fate they might otherwise have. They fly in the face of societal expectations, determining for themselves who and what they will be and not allowing the bonds of birth, class, and bias to make that determination for them.
Elizabeth George
Busyness lies. It tricks us into thinking that things are happening. That we’re going places, being productive, living a full life. The exhilarating effects of stress, not the quiet or stillness after chaos, is familiar. We would rather have something, than nothing, even if that something is…empty. We all do this. We look to relationships, drugs or distractions to fill so-called “voids” and assuage our loneliness or anxiety about who we are and the uncertainty of our futures. Isn't that why we tie our self worth to salaries and job titles in hopes that this will validate us? Isn't that why we justify the long hours, routine work, and deteriorating relationships as “real life?” How is it that we've become so complacent? I refuse to believe that with age, you need to be realistic and live out your decisions based on what’s been done or what’s expected of you. What if we stopped looking externally for validation or excitement, but found that within ourselves? See I want to feel like life is worth living. Not for culture, not for the societal structures and institutions in place, not for the security, none of that. Just life itself. The idea that being alive is enough…beautiful, even. I don’t want to be tied down to a job I despise or to be surrounded by people who take that shit too seriously. And by shit, I mean, jobs, resumes, salaries, kids, marriage, age, any of it. Others may be able to go through life’s routine and find their truth, or perhaps never bother finding it at all. But I can’t. I just can’t.
Thoughts of a post-grad 21 year old who finds busyness overrated
As a writer, I think it is my duty to be as responsible as I can with (my)perspective, insights, experiences, & values. Being raised in a black & white- "good & bad" societal mentality has frustrated me. My common mentors (societal, religious, govt., authoritative', etc.) presented a skewed ‘role-model’ to me; colouring the world/‘s of myself, and other people, with their own personal expectations of how society should be. It’s not really trusting people to grow into who they are as a person. Going back to my original verve for writing has meant working (tirelessly) to (try to) remove habitual things; finite statements, assumptions, misinformation, misunderstanding, as well as cyclical (fear-based) conditioning. I want to be responsible. And this has meant that I had to work hard to shake loose from the past. Sometimes it meant screaming "How dare you teach me fear & ignorance!" into my pillow- as I work at ripping the (imposed) bars away from my craft. I am still working at it, and, as hard as it has been- it’s been worth it. I value the integrity of writing (as a creative craft) so very much. I always admired those writers who stood out from the traditional. The writers who challenged the conventional. Those [writers] who dared to present a balanced perspective- no matter how uncommon... To me, they were the best teachers. They inspired unchained learning, wisdom, and developmental skills... Those things which I see as gifting readers with bountiful landscapes into their [readers] own souls. This is what it means, for me, to be a writer. That does not mean it is what it has to mean for others. Each of us get our own unique voices, styles, expressions, dreams, and creativity. I also want to be understood- clearly, truly, and genuinely- as a human, and as a writer. And I want to foster my imagination, creativity, and passion; building a world that I love- knowing that other people may also enjoy it, and some may not.
Cheri Bauer
Since the attempt to control nature is at its heart the attempt to control other persons, we can expect societies to be less patient with those cultures which express some degree of indifference to societal goals and values. It is this repeated parallel that brings us to see that the society that creates natural waste creates human waste.
James P. Carse (Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility)
There is a misperception about black women in society. When a black woman presents expectations to a man, she is seen as needy, bossy and a gold digger. When a woman who is not of African American descent expresses the same thing from a man, she is seen as a trophy wife. When a woman of European descent presents the same thing, she is viewed as a classy woman with standards. When a woman of European descent presents the same standards as a black woman, the Caucasian woman is credited for implementing rules of dating when she expects a man to pay for dinner or when she tells a man what she desires out of a relationship. The value of African American women is reduced not only by dominant culture and society, but by men, particularly African American men. The media, radio, music, television, newspapers and movies have devalued African American women when in reality African American women are honorable, respectable, classy, elegant, beautiful, educated and hardworking women. Dark skin women are viewed as angry, unattractive and uneducated within modern society. African American women are seen as loud, irate, insensitive and angry women as a result of labels from some African American men, media, movies and music. Television, magazines, social media, internet, videos and some music present Hispanic, Latino, White and Armenian women as trophy wives, idols and models while presenting African American women as mistresses, one night stands, casual sex, gold diggers and “baby mamas.” Latino and Dominican women are viewed as physically beautiful while Caucasian women are viewed as ideal and classy within media, music, music videos and movies. Media presents black women as bitter, scorned, ghetto, ratchet and promiscuous as if women of other races do not exhibit those characteristics. Women of other races are on television and the internet using profanity, fighting, engaging in sexual acts and cheating, however, there is an emphasis on African American women who exhibit those behaviors” (McEachern 85).
Jessica McEachern (Societal Perceptions)
the girl with a moustache" they called me every now and then "It's about time you wax your arms" those who "cared" said I faced the fears of the dreaded thread on my face To succumb every other week to the world's ways
Sanhita Baruah
There was a second dinner scheduled for the following night, and I was dreading the disapproving glances by these women who had never worked a day in their lives. I was still a woman, and I still cared what I looked like; no matter what I accomplished with my career, nothing eliminates those stinging insecurities you develop as a child or teen.
Lynsey Addario (It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War)
I think of the black youngster who comes home sobbing to tell his mother that some other little children kicked him and called him "nigger", and his mother puts her arms around the boy to comfort him and explain how monstrous white people so often are. I can see that same scenario played out in Germany in 1930s when the race laws went into effect. But this youngsters had adults who helped them understand hatred and prejudice and condemnation. The gay child walks into his home, the only place where the human race can expect sanctuary, to find that the larger societal prejudices are just as vivid there. He is alone
Charles Rowan Beye (My Husband and My Wives: A Gay Man's Odyssey)
Early accounts of the abundance of fish and wildlife offer us a window to the past that helps reveal the magnitude of subsequent declines. They provide us with benchmarks against which we can compare the condition of today's seas. Such benchmarks are valuable in countering the phenomenon of shifting environmental baselines, whereby each generation comes to view the environment into which it was born as natural, or normal. Shifting environmental baselines cause a collective societal amnesia in which gradual deterioration of the environment and depletion of wildlife populations pass almost unnoticed. Our expectations diminish with time, and with them goes our will to do something about the losses.
Callum Roberts (The Unnatural History of the Sea)
This web of traditions and rules means that women are not free but neither are men. Both sexes are trapped by societal expectations.
Karen Elliott House (On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines - and Future)
This fear of the upheld mirror in the hand of genius extends to the teaching profession and perhaps to the primary and secondary school teacher most of all. The teacher occupies a particularly anomalous and exposed position in a society subject to rapid change or threatened by exterior enemies. Society is never totally sure of what it wants of its educators. It wants, first of all, the inculcation of custom, tradition, and all that socializes the child into the good citizen. In the lower grades the demand for conformity is likely to be intense. The child himself, as well as the teacher, is frequently under the surveillance of critical, if not opinionated, parents. Secondly, however, society wants the child to absorb new learning which will simultaneously benefit that society and enhance the individual's prospects of success. Thus the teacher, in some degree, stands as interpreter and disseminator of the cultural mutations introduced by the individual genius into society. Some of the fear, the projected guilt feelings, of those who do not wish to look into the mirrors held up to them by men of the Hawthorne stamp of genius, falls upon us. Moving among innovators of ideas as we do, sifting and judging them daily, something of the suspicion with which the mass of mankind still tends to regard its own cultural creators falls upon the teacher who plays a role of great significance in this process of cultural diffusion. He is, to a degree, placed in a paradoxical position. He is expected both to be the guardian of stability and the exponent of societal change. Since all persons do not accept new ideas at the same rate, it is impossible for the educator to please the entire society even if he remains abjectly servile. This is particularly true in a dynamic and rapidly changing era like the present. Moreover, the true teacher has another allegiance than that to parents alone. More than any other class· in society, teachers mold the future in the minds of the young. They transmit to them the aspirations of great thinkers of which their parents may have only the faintest notions. The teacher is often the first to discover the talented and unusual scholar. How he handles and encourages, or discourages, such a child may make all the difference in the world to that child's future- and to the world. Perhaps he can induce in stubborn parents the conviction that their child is unusual and should be encouraged in his studies. If the teacher is sufficiently judicious, he may even be able to help a child over the teetering planks of a broken home and a bad neighborhood. It is just here, however--in our search for what we might call the able, all-purpose, success-modeled student--that I feel it so necessary not to lose sight of those darker, more uncertain, late-maturing, sometimes painfully abstracted youths who may represent the Darwins, Thoreaus, and Hawthornes of the next generation.
Loren Eiseley
Liberal feminists generally believe society already provides almost all the opportunities required for women to succeed in life. They simply want the same access to those opportunities as men and advocate measures that allow and protect that access—educational opportunities, affordable childcare, flexible working hours, and so on. Liberal feminism does not automatically assume that differences in outcomes imply discrimination, however, and thus it eschews the equity-based approaches of intersectional feminism. The liberal focus on removing the social significance of identity categories—that is, the legal and social requirements to comply with gender, class, or race expectations—seeks to refine the legacies of the Enlightenment project and the civil rights movements, rather than overthrow them for socialist or postmodern ends. Consequently, many liberal feminists believed their work would be largely done once women gained legal equality with men and had control over their own reproductive choices and when societal expectations had changed so much that it was no longer surprising to see women in all fields of work.
Helen Pluckrose (Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody)
many liberal feminists believed their work would be largely done once women gained legal equality with men and had control over their own reproductive choices and when societal expectations had changed so much that it was no longer surprising to see women in all fields of work. This liberal approach to feminism is angrily refuted and problematized by applied postmodernists, who desperately want to return social significance to certain identity categories, so they can apply identity politics and provide a meaning-making structure for (especially racial) minorities.
Helen Pluckrose (Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody)
In everyday terms, it is not racism that prompts a white shopper in a clothing store to go up to a random black or brown person who is also shopping and to ask for a sweater in a different size, or for a white guest at a party to ask a black or brown person who is also a guest to fetch them a drink, as happened to Barack Obama as a state senator, or even perhaps a judge to sentence a subordinate-caste person for an offense for which a dominant-caste person might not even be charged. It is caste or rather the policing of and adherence to the caste system. It’s the autonomic, unconscious, reflexive response to expectations from a thousand imaging inputs and neurological societal downloads that affix people to certain roles based upon what they look like and what they historically have been assigned to or the characteristics and stereotypes by which they have been categorized. No ethnic or racial category is immune to the messaging we all receive about the hierarchy, and thus no one escapes its consequences.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
Personal accountability matters greatly. When one person stops taking responsibility for their actions, the unspoken implication is that they are expecting others to take responsibility for them. This is a toxic mentality for a platoon, as responsibility is slowly diffused until there is none at all. It is equally toxic for a society, where more and more people begin to believe that others should bear their burden, that the government is responsible for their happiness, and that personal responsibility is nothing but a nostalgic throwback to a bygone era. The increasing popularity of an unaccountable existence should worry us. The pinnacle of failure is the refusal to take responsibility for mistakes and transgressions, and instead blame external factors. It has a societal impact, because an increasing number of unaccountable individuals make up an increasingly unaccountable society. Our culture begins to popularize the narrative that we are always victims of circumstance, rather than victims of personal shortcomings. Outrage culture is built around this sense of victimhood in the face of failure.
Dan Crenshaw (Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage)
I am both infantilised and sexualised, and I'm not sure what to do with that.
Laura Sebastian (Lady Smoke (Ash Princess Trilogy, #2))
In many ways, we treat politics, and specifically the government, as both the sole cause of all our problems and the sole solution. It has become the one societal institution expected to shoulder every problem facing us. There was a time when many other institutions shared the load, but those institutions have suffered under the weight of the past several decades’ tremendous societal changes, and we’ve turned our hopes and expectations toward the government instead.
Sarah Stewart Holland (I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations)
The deinstitutionalization of marriage can de described as having occurred in two stages. First the role of marriage expanded from fulfilling societal expectations and sustaining survival to providing companionship. In the second stage, the importance of personal choice and self-development (sometimes through transient relationships) increased at the expense of institutional marriage.
Elyakim Kislev (Happy Singlehood: The Rising Acceptance and Celebration of Solo Living)
Looking at Barbados and Australia as relatively positive examples, one societal hallmark of self-esteem seems to be an ability to both give and demand fairness, an expectation that extends from the personal to the political.
Gloria Steinem (Revolution from Within)
Soon the patriots who are tired of wearing masks/being quarantined/watching the country go down in financial and societal flames will begin to demonstrate and I expect this group to clash hard with the BLM/Antifa crowd.
J. Micha-el Thomas Hays (Book Series Update and Urgent Status Report: Vol. 3 (Rise of the New World Order Status Report))
How individuals view what they can and should accomplish is in large part formed by our societal expectations.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
It’s like there’s a check-list of accomplishments that people expect from you. Like it’s the only path to happiness, this societal construct of what makes us successful and worthy. But, don’t buy it. You can be happy no matter which part of the story you’re in. You are worthy in every chapter.
Liz Newman
In late 2008, one of my business partners, Clayton Christensen offered his opinion that the recession would have an “unmitigated positive impact on innovation” because “when the tension is greatest and resources are most limited, people are actually a lot more open to rethinking the fundamental way they do business.” This theory is supported by the Kaufmann Foundation statistic that “51 percent of the Fortune 500 companies began during a recession or bear market or both.” Whether launching a business or pursuing a dream, there are many high-profile instances in which a lack of resources ultimately proved to be a boon, rather than a bane. If we dig a bit, each of us can uncover examples among friends and family, and ourselves. Would most children have as many opportunities as they do in sports, music, or other extracurricular activities without parents, mothers in particular, who are accomplished at bartering as a way to stretch limited family budgets? Would kids have as many chances to explore their interests if their parents weren’t so adept at arranging for carpooling, chaperoning, and borrowing, thus enabling their kids to participate? Without the constraints of time, money, and health, would the online retailer Shabby Apple exist? (For a reminder of how that business came to be, see chapter 5.) If my parents could have paid for college, would I have caught an early glimpse of corporate life during the Silicon Valley heyday? Would I have ever set foot on Wall Street had I not needed to work to put my husband through school? All of us have had the opportunity to bootstrap if we look hard enough. Men seem to know how to do this in the business world: 88 percent of the founders of Entrepreneur magazine’s Hot 500 were men. But I wonder if women aren’t better at bootstrapping than we think we are. Chronically under resourced (whether due to the gender pay gap or ceding our resources to conform to societal expectations), women continually feel the tension of having too little budget and too little time. Because of this tension, we are expert at rethinking how to get things done. Many of us know how to turn scarcity into opportunity.
Whitney Johnson (Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream)
He’s wild and uncivilized, but disciplined and thoughtful too. Being with him is like the real world doesn’t exist. It’s like there aren’t societal rules with stupid expectations. With Dom, I can do what I want. I can be whatever I want. It’s a crazy, exciting life.
Adriana Locke (Swink (Landry Family, #5))
That was another thing about boys: No one assumed the blew a gasket for any reason other than they were just really upset. They were allowed to just be, and nobody blamed where the moon was in its cycle, or whether or not they had the ill fortune of leaking from their privates. It was plain unfair.
Jaida Jones (Steelhands (Havemercy, #4))
Are there characteristics inherent in sex differences that make women more nurturing and men more assertive? Quite possibly. Still, in today's world, where we no longer have to hunt in the wild for our food, our desire for leadership is largely a culturally created and reinforced trait. How individuals view what they can and should accomplish is in large part formed by our societal expectations. (p.19)
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
As voters, many of us often recognize that we cannot know the answers to all the complicated societal questions. And frankly, neither can the politicians reasonably be expected to. But what we can know with some reliability is that if politicians are more humble in their opinions—and more open to new information and thereby more intelligent in their dialogue and debate with others—we are likely to get more balanced and sound politics.
Hanzi Freinacht (The Listening Society: A Metamodern Guide to Politics, Book One)
Everything has been stripped away. You’re on your own, you’re free now… You’re so helpless, and now you’ve got nothing left. And you’re invisible—you’ve got no secrets—that’s so liberating. You’ve nothing to fear anymore.”31 It is this sense of release—from possessions, from expectations, from societal demands—that lifts the song above just character demolition, and that no doubt accounts for much of its enduring popularity.
Mark Polizzotti (Highway 61 Revisited)
White male supremacy protects itself not only through the expected violence of white men, but also through control of societal norms that keep us invested in the perpetration of white male power.
Ijeoma Oluo (Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America)
Moments like these remind me why it’s so hard for men like my husband to helm the ship of emotional labor in a family. It’s not the norm. It’s not the expectation. The societal pressures he grew up with were the polar opposite of mine in terms of emotional labor. Caring was not an expectation for him; in fact, it was tacitly frowned upon as not masculine. The men in his life did not take the time to write letters to their grandmothers, or prepare meals for the family, or take charge as equal parents and partners. Men’s main societal pressure is to be breadwinners. They are expected to put this priority above family, above caring, above emotional labor—always. There is no open space for him to learn, no support system that will help him achieve the full equality he may desire at home. As Tiffany Dufu writes in Drop the Ball, “Until the contributions that women make at work are seen as just as valuable as the contributions women make at home, the contributions that men make at home will never be considered as valuable as the contributions men make at work. Just as women need affirmation on both fronts, so do men.” 5 Yet so often, that affirmation never comes. Their efforts, though praised, are undercut by the overplayed manner in which we give that praise. The pat on the back men get for parenting is akin to the exaltation we give children for messily making their bed or dressing themselves with two different socks and sparkly sandals. We praise the effort and turn a blind eye to the incompetence.
Gemma Hartley (Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward)
What you deeply resent in another, is actually a reflection of what you wish you had or what you wish you could be. Resentful of how another speaks her mind? Because you were silenced and therefore fell silent. Resentful of how another wears (or doesn't wear) whatever she wants? Because you are controlled by your own ideas of morality and societal expectations. Resentful of how another's life is not constructed to pander and please others? Because you are bound by the cruel chains of people-pleasing, you don't know how to break out of. What you resent in others is what you actually wish you could be.
C. JoyBell C.
The idea that we should not concern ourselves unduly about the future because “expectancy is the main impediment to living” has to be qualified for other reasons too. At the societal level, too much focus on present goods, like lower taxes or gas prices, at the expense of future goods such as a cleaner environment and an adequately funded welfare state, is hardly praiseworthy, and we would do well to worry about the consequences of this shortsightedness. With respect to both individuals and communities, it is hard to make significant plans and engage in long-term projects without worrying about the ways in which they might be derailed. This is true whether one is raising a child, planting crops, running a business, carrying out research, writing a book, building an organization, or working for a cause. Yet immersing ourselves in such projects and bringing them to fruition yields some of our most valuable experiences and accomplishments. It hardly makes sense to eschew long-term enterprises on the grounds that they usually produce anxiety as well as (one hopes) satisfaction. And it is hard to really throw oneself into a project without worrying about its prospects for success. The advice not to worry unduly about the future thus has to be quite restricted if it is to be reasonable. It amounts to telling us not to spoil the present through excessive anxiety about the future, and not to worry unduly about the loss of things that do not really matter. One of the merits of simple living is that it demonstrates how little we need to possess in order to be content, and how much of what we consider necessary is in fact superfluous. Keeping these points in mind may help us become, in Epicurus’s phrase, “fearless of fortune,” at least with respect to wealth and possessions. But it is less obvious how living simply helps one to achieve greater detachment from other things one values, such as loved ones, meaningful projects, or political causes.
Emrys Westacott (The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More - More or Less)
When we remove every boundary that hems us in- physical, emotional, or societal- we become limitless. When we reject preconceived notions about what something “should” look like, we move ourselves toward the possible. The real secret to overcoming setbacks is developing the wisdom to know which goals are worth pursuing and which weights- expectations, limitations, and disappointments- we must let go in order to rise to the top.
Mallory Weggemann (Limitless: The Power of Hope and Resilience to Overcome Circumstance)
Lack is a human perception NOT a universal reality.
Claire Atyeo (Aligned Leaders: Sage Wisdom From Women Choosing Their Soul's Mission Over Societal Expectation With No Regret)
Patriarchal oppression and misogynistic societal expectations play the biggest roles in a culture's drinking habits. The double standard that drinking women face is deeply rooted in male anxieties about control and their fear of women acting like people, not property. If you want to know how a society treats its women, all you have to do is look into the bottom of a glass.
Mallory O'Meara (Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol)
Some of these protagonists end up happy and some unhappy, but all end up incorporated into society. A common craft axiom states that by the end of a story, a protagonist must either change or fail to change. These novels fulfill this expectation. In the end, it’s not only the characters who find themselves trapped by societal norms. It’s the novels.
Matthew Salesses (Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping)
A definition of biological sex as reproductive capacity is, inherently, a communal one. It is about the role the individual plays within its species - whether that role is conceived of as shaped by evolution, ordained by God or something else. John Money's gender roles, too, concerned how individuals fitted into society - which stereotypes their upbringing had fitted them to adhere to. Now the focus had narrowed. What mattered was whether an individual could provide the sexual, not reproductive, services that a man expected of his wife - an individual rather than societal contract - and how she felt about herself. Though it was not yet consistently named, 'gender identity' had arrived.
Helen Joyce (Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality)
Motherhood seems to be a no-win battle: however you decide to do (or not do) it, someone’s going to be criticizing you. You went to too great lengths trying to conceive. You didn’t go to great enough lengths. You had the baby too young. You should have kept the baby even though you were young. You shouldn’t have waited so long to try to have a baby. You’re a too involved mother. You’re not involved enough because you let your child play on the playground alone. It never ends. It strikes me that while all this judgment goes on, the options available to women become fewer and fewer. I’m not even (just) talking about the right to choose—across the U.S., women have less access to birth control, health care, reproductive education, and post-partum support. So we give women less information about their bodies and reproduction, less control over their bodies, and less support during and after pregnancy—and then we criticize them fiercely for whatever they end up doing. This seems not only unfair to me but a recipe for societal disaster. I don’t have answers here, but I wanted to raise questions about what we expect of mothers and who we think “deserves” to be a mother and who doesn’t—and why we think that question is ours to decide.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
Until recently, natural selection helped impose pro-fertility norms. But a growing number of societies have attained high existential security, long life expectancy, and low infant mortality, making pro-fertility norms no longer necessary for societal survival and opening the way for a shift to individual-choice norms. Normally there is a substantial time lag between changing societal conditions and cultural change. The norms one grows up
Ronald Inglehart (Religion's Sudden Decline: What's Causing it, and What Comes Next?)
I realized that this is our story, Theo. It doesn’t have to be like everyone else’s. It doesn’t have to follow societal norms or play out as the people around us expect, because this is our story. It’s about us and what we want to do. It’s our happily ever after, and we get to set the pace of our own narrative, no one else. Just us.
Kylie Kent (Devilish King)
Societally, we will need to see shifts in how we—including the medical community—approach wellness. Instead of hospitals being repositories for the sick, they will need to become wellness centers after recovery or treatment reverses major issues. That is, they will need to focus on prevention, on health optimization, on opportunities to reboot our bodies. Many more people will recover from illness at home, as hospitals will bring those facilities and services to you, and less expensively. Note: With a decrease in fertility we expect more stabilization of pediatric and delivery centers, and with an increase in longevity we will see growth of plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures.
Michael F. Roizen (The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow)
In my mid-twenties, I met a new group of friends who understood me in ways that no one else did. They seemed to ignore societal expectations of how a person should sit, talk, move, dress, and act, freeing me to do the same. They also actively appreciated parts of my personality that others found annoying, such as my drive to clarify precisely what I mean.
Annie Kotowicz (What I Mean When I Say I'm Autistic: Unpuzzling a Life on the Autism Spectrum)
Societal expectations of women’s roles were quite different back then.
Jan Moran (Coral Cafe (The Coral Cottage at Summer Beach, #2))