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When others feel threatened by our lifestyle choices

By Nina Steele 

Leonardo DiCaprio I was reading an article about Leonardo DiCaprio the other day. At Age 41, he is unmarried and childless. And to make matters even more of a talking point, he has had a string of girlfriends, with no sign of wanting to settle down. The article refers to him as: “a party boy, a playboy, a commitment-phobe modeliser”.

That is presumably because anyone of that age is expected to follow convention and settle down. The needs and desires of the individual don’t seem to matter. It is all about what society expects.

The truth is, people like to project their own lives onto others, and feel threatened whenever anyone dares to live a life that is different from the established norm.

The funny thing is that we in the West often like to boast about how tolerant we are, and how backward some other cultures are. Yet it seems that we are happy to show the same type of intolerance whenever our fellow countrymen do not subscribe to our lifestyles.

There are many people out there like Leonardo DiCaprio and often, they are good and decent people, who just happen to choose to live their lives differently. Who knows why Leonardo is still not in a committed relationship. He happens to have a very strong bond with his parents and maybe that is the only relationship that matters to him right now.

There are so many reasons why we live our lives the way we do that, to want everyone to be the same, is unrealistic, to say the least.

Often, when people criticize others’ lifestyles, what they are really saying is that, that choice is forcing them out of their comfort zone. And most people don’t like the challenges that come with that.

I myself have had to teach my mind that getting out of my comfort zone is the only way for me to learn and grow. The thing with comfort zones is that, they teach us nothing that we don’t already know. It is a false security.

I was touched by the article, not because Leonardo happens to be childless, but because of the choice element of the story. I know it sounds cliché, but it would really be a boring world out there, if we all lived similar lives.

Instead of feeling threatened by lifestyles that do not mirror our own (so long as no laws are being broken, of course), we should try to understand that people are inherently different. And that, there is no such thing as a one size fits all, when it comes to life.

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