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Updated: Jul 5, 2020


All our lives we are taught how to live.

How to walk, talk, eat, and to sit.

How to obey and fall in line.

How to read and write. 

How to cook and to clean.


We are taught to always strive for excellence,

and not to accept anything else.

We are taught how to be competitive,

to do anything in order to win

and how to cry from our failures when we lose


We are taught to be doctors and lawyers, 

pilots, surgeons, and scientists; 

But never writers, dreamers, creators

peacemakers, listeners, or friends.


We are taught how to envy those who are better than us

and to hate and to punish

ourselves for not being like them.

We are taught to be proper Christians.

How to pray every day and night; 

pray when we're in trouble and when we're sick,

when we want a scholarship;

Pray pray pray! 


We are taught that the aim of our life is

to grow up to become a lawyer or a doctor.

Marry a lawyer or a doctor. 

Have beautiful smart kids,

who become lawyers or doctors.

Go to a good church and have a perfect life, 

be a perfect husband and obey like a perfect

wife.

Nothing more, nothing less. 


But we are never taught how to be young

and adventurous 

How to make mistakes and learn from them.

How to embrace our flaws. 

Knowing that perfection is unattainable.

How to not know what we want to be when 

we grow up. 


How to be different, to be free with our sexuality;

Not judging each other for who we are.

How to really experience love and heartache;

that life is not a competition

and the point of living life is not to be like everyone else, 

but to be ourselves

Not living up to other people's expectations of what you should 

Or shouldn't be. 

We should be taught how to deal with our anxiety and depression, 

not being pushed so hard that suicide becomes an escape for us.

We should be taught to appreciate our lives

and to live it up to the best of our abilities


We should be told that the world is our canvas 

and we can paint whatever we want all over it.

So society, mothers and fathers, teachers, pastors,

friends, and relatives, 

the people who care about our so-called wellbeing, 

stop putting us in a box, stop labeling us,

stop controlling, us stop telling us-

How to live our lives.


Harsha Parpia



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