Sunday, 17 March 2019

Peer Pressure in Adulthood

Firstly, let me say that although the next paragraphs mention a hot topic of discussion, this post is NOT about the pro-life or pro-choice movements and I only mention the issue in order to examine a particular human trait.

I never hide my beliefs. If I stayed quiet rather than voicing my thoughts about something just for the sake that 'everyone is entitled to an opinion', I would in fact be going against my own belief. So in the midst of a furore about the topic of abortion a couple years back, my then editor invited me to write about my stance on a magazine that had mostly pro-choice authors. You may read the article here: Why I'll Never Be Pro Choice.

Given the current almost volcanic debate going on in my country (Malta) about the possible legalisation of abortion, I thought it was the right time to re-share my article which presents not a religious or hostile pro-life argument but rather tackles pro-choicers' views whilst saying why I do not deem them plausible reasons in favour of abortion. If my article hits too close when read, then I am probably presenting a good argument.

In a bid to share my views further and present my cause, I politely asked most of the people on my contact list to share my article on. Amid the thumbs up signs of pro-lifers and a couple of 'I'm pro-choice' people who respected that our idea differed, I met with a surprise. A person who seemed to me very much a pro-lifer in personal view, pointed out that sharing my article would cause harm to her career. I understand a passion for what you do but to hide who you really are simply to avoid boycott sounds to me very much like the peer pressure we blame on teens.

I personally rather lose some followers and be true to myself than act like someone I am not to please others. What happened to 'Love yourself and be true to yourself first'?! This person argued that voicing any view on the matter in question would always result in haters and that she did not judge anyone for their opinion or what they did so didn't want people to think she did. Say what?! That made my heart thump and upset me till a day later, here I am writing about it. I don't judge others either. I have amazing friends who are pro-choice and although I can never agree with them on the topic, I would not cut them out of my life for that. I actually admire that they are ready to say the truth about how they feel despite knowing my opinion differs greatly.

Knowing I am in the company of, or Facebook friends with, people who have a reaction opposite to mine to the same issue, doesn't mean I shouldn't feel free to voice my own opinion out of fear of how others react. What are we? Ten years old again? What are we? Money-makers who see people as dollar signs that might fade in the face of our true self? If that is how we are, then that is how people will perceive us too. Everyone is what they make of themselves and if we don't believe in ourselves enough to take a stance when we believe in something, then we will be treated as cowards for that is how we will appear.

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