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America for Beginners


A poignant debut that explores unlikely friendships forged in unusual ...
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Is there a time in your life when you conformed to an expectation either without knowing why or against your better judgement, and later questioned why you did?

Created: 07/29/19

Replies: 3

Posted Jul. 29, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2563

Is there a time in your life when you conformed to an expectation either without knowing why or against your better judgement, and later questioned why you did?

"Widows are supposed to be vegetarians."

"Why?"

"I don't know. We just are." Satya didn't know either. It was a relief that Mrs. Sengupta was equally clueless.

"So you just go along with this, even though you don't know why? That's... wow. I couldn't do that."

"If you lived somewhere where it was hard to do otherwise, you might," Mrs Sengupta said. Rebecca looked at her, opened her mouth to speak, and then closed it. She drank her wine. (p 228)

Is there a time in your life when you conformed to an expectation either without knowing why or against your better judgement, and later questioned why you did?


Posted Jul. 31, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lois Irene

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 76

RE: Is there a time in your life when you conformed to an expectation either without knowing why or against your better judgement, and later questioned why you did?

I think that it is really hard not to conform to cultural norms. Without thinking, a person can easily just go along and do all that is expected and will be awarded by "fitting in."
So, I have probably mostly done this. It would be too much to contemplate every cultural expectation. What I notice is when going along with the norms leaves me feeling hollow or angry. This is when I have to examine and change what I am doing.


Posted Aug. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 277

RE: Is there a time in your life when you conformed to an expectation either without knowing why or against your better judgement, and later questioned why you did?

Most of my whole life!! haha My parents' approval was always very important to me. As the oldest child, I took on a lot of responsibility and tried to be the "easiest" child. I worried about them more than myself. It was really important to me that they liked me. Even as adult, I often find myself doing and saying things that will please them or cause them the least amount of stress. I know I've missed out on a lot of wonderful experiences and opportunities because of not taking care of me. So, yes. I have questioned myself a lot! I agree with Lois that there is a hollowness that comes with going along, and for me, resentment.


Posted Aug. 21, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuriedInPrint

Join Date: 08/03/19

Posts: 8

RE: Is there a time in your life when you conformed to an expectation either without knowing why or against your better judgement, and later questioned why you did?

I think for most people it's easier to list the ways in which one doesn't conform to expectations. It's very hard to step outside a set of expectations and make your own way and it's not until you dare to confront something or someone, a situation or a person who holds up a certain standard, that you realize how rarely it happens.

As the quintessential "good girl" when I was young, I am amazed at how often I did what was expected of me, only to realize at some future date (sometimes months and sometimes years later) that I was incredibly unhappy with that option and, even later, that I found happiness in a wholly different situation (which I couldn't have imagined myself living when I was younger).


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