So, you are a good boy/girl. Do you feel proud of the fact that you have never raised your voice or did anything that made others upset? You never made a mistake because you don’t even think anything else besides what others have told you. You always served others, put their interests above yours, you sacrificed and you obeyed. If I ask you for the reasons behind this behavior of yours, you say that you just don’t want to hurt others. Those who hurt others are bad guys or girls. Fair enough. I hate to tell you this but your obsession with the ‘good girl/boy’ tag is EXACTLY the reason why others are hurt. And I’m also going to tell you that this obsession is making you the very thing you claim to be not.

It is very common in my country for people to give incentives to those who are a good girl/ boy. They get all the praise and attention. The other day, I was exercising and I got this vibe from my grandmother that I was being selfish because I was giving time to myself. It is very common in my family (and many Indian families) to shame those who enjoy food because how can you even think of deriving pleasure? You are supposed to eat food as if you are taking a medicine. You are not supposed to read because it’s selfish. You cannot have an opinion that is not in sync with the majority because that’s selfish. If you are a homosexual, you better become straight because it’s just selfish to be homosexual when your family’s dreams are centered around heterosexuality. Some Indian children justify all this and say that homosexuals should become straight (how is that even possible?) because if they don’t their parents will get hurt. How can a good person hurt their parents, right? This logic is demonizing. And these people can be proved wrong by using the same logic. You say that we should not hurt others by standing up for our selves, right? Let me tell you something: You ARE going to disappoint some people, no matter what you do. If you ‘act’ straight and enter a heterosexual marriage, just to make your parents happy, you might not hurt your parents but you WILL hurt your spouse. You are a homosexual, so how can you fulfill the sexual needs of your heterosexual spouse? So obviously, your spouse will be hurt. If he/she is hurt, HER PARENTS will be also hurt, RIGHT? So what you are saying is, you are ready to marry a heterosexual person so that your parents are not hurt but you are okay if your spouse and his/her parents are hurt? Can’t you see that there is a cunning and selfish monster behind this good girl/boy?

In my country, two contradictory things exist: some people say that you must make your parents happy and on the other hand, it is completely okay to abuse your wife. How can a parent be happy if their child is being abused?

I was a good girl for the first 18 years of my life but  I started voicing my opinions and saying ‘No’ after that. Even now, I feel guilty for saying ‘No’ to anything. I’m not saying that one should be self-centered or be insensitive to other people. What I’m saying is that if you care about others, you must care for yourself and if you want to care for yourself, you must care about others. When you try hard to be a good girl/boy, you end up harming your own self and in turn, you are harming others.You might feel great about the fact that you don’t selfishly waste your time in exercising but eventually, your health will get affected and then, it is YOUR FAMILY who is going to have to take care of you, right? Now apply this to mental health and everything else. You might choose a profession that you don’t like, just to make your loved ones happy but if it is something that you hate, you are depriving many people of the gifts! Imagine how many people can you serve by doing what you love?

The answer to this is not to become a bad girl/boy because hurting others just for the heck of it not cool as well. What we need is an understanding that selfishness and selflessness are interconnected. You cannot serve others without serving yourself and vice versa.

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