[07 April, 2009]

trans-disciplinary wisdom

The other day a friend in my program, a former student of sociology, relayed to me this basic truth: happiness is based on social norms. The end. Now I can go get a good night's rest.

I'm sure I knew this, somewhere in the back of my mind, but never realized the potency of the statement or the fact that it's the answer to many of my dilemmas. Like the fact that I so often struggle between self-sacrifice for the sake of familial fulfillment and the achievement of personal goals for my own individual selfish fulfillment. I often envy Russian women who are able to derive genuine pleasure from setting aside their own interests for their family members. The social norm for a woman is to be a caretaker, to somehow deal with everyone's shit in a graceful feminine manner, and many are very happy in that role. Social norms for American women are less clearly defined, which is a dilemma in itself, though it seems that intrinsically, individual self-actualization is what's often emphasized.

Eventually, I guess, I will figure out which norms I am ok or not ok conforming to. I'll decide to follow in the ways of Russian foremothers or I'll raise my fist with other American feminists. And I will be happy. Until then, you'll just have to bear with my occasional existential freak-outs.

4 sighs or salutations:

Anonymous | 07 April, 2009

I was just going to blog about something similar. It's hard growing up with two cultures that are so different from one another.

FYI, lovbe your blog!

daria | 07 April, 2009

I know! It's always such a tough balance...

Badass Geek | 08 April, 2009

Interesting. This is food for thought for sure.

daria | 08 April, 2009

I know, right? What kinds of social norms do you find yourself up against? Any of them preventing or enabling your happiness?

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