Power is often reflected in the media as someone with riches and influences that span a country, or even the globe. This power to control, inherit, and profit is sought after by all humans to some degree, yet those in power affect the people below them in the economic food chain. I despise the idea of someone having so much influence over so many people — or, at the very least, the idea of someone neglecting the moral responsibilities that must be taken on in such a situation. This is why I put my faith and dreams into the power of self-reflection to find happiness, as making improvements and changes in this way has a much lower probability of hurting others.
We are a social species, which sometimes makes us value others’ opinions more than our own. This is not inherently bad, as this encourages us to value perspectives we might not otherwise have. It makes school more engaging, work more productive, and new creations and ideas easier to produce. This also makes it easier for self-doubt to be inflicted though, whether through concern of what others could think or through social media criticism. The stories of online influencers being driven to depression or even thoughts of suicide due to these problems are never ending, and really demonstrates how much power we as individuals give to the public eye.
To be clear, I am not proposing that we end negative social media posts or public criticism; these are separate problems with very complex nuances. I am instead suggesting that we all try to remind ourselves that in reality, we are the ones granting power to spectators while not considering that they only spectate for short periods at a time. It is more than likely that at one point, we have all walked into a gas station and had a negative thought about someone’s outfit, driven in traffic and judged someone else’s choice to make a last minute turn, and maybe even scrutinized someone’s question in class. But have we continued to criticize them mentally after that hour, or even that day? The underlying truth to this issue is that while we can very easily scrutinize others, our identities as a social species stops being relevant as soon as we are no longer in a social context. We learn from mistakes, change our appearances, change our ideas, our goals, and whatever else we feel like changing on our own time. Remember that the power to decide to change yourself resides solely within your body, not someone else’s. Someone else’s judgement is temporary, but you are permanent. Make changes when you actually want to make changes, not when you think someone else does not like who you are. Once you become empowered in this way, you will learn how happy and vain a person can truly feel.