When God gave us one life to live, He also gave us the desire to live every other life but this one.
I see three reasons why we do.
The first one, is simple. You just think you cannot do what the other person is doing. This point being proved by the recently engaged cousin of mine who gushed, “I hope you do your MS. I might be getting married, but it would feel good to know that you’re achieving something!” Whoa! Reality check! Babe, Marriage is one of the biggest achievements in life.
What amazed me, though, was that this girl meant every word she said!
The second is the living for someone else because you know they’re wrong.
Think about the roads you drive on everyday. How many times have you cursed bad motorists? But in wanting every auto and indicab driver to drive the right way, you pretty much decide that you cannot survive in the framework created by them, so they need to change!
Think about the well meaning parent. The one who decides long after the “child” is an adult how much she should save, what she should buy, who she should hang out with, when she should get married, who she should marry, what toothpaste to use, when to sleep and so on. Well intentioned? No doubt. Well timed? Most likely not. Required, NO!! Not the kind of control most parents aim for, anyway.
No, the kid does not need to change. Not one bit. Either you survive in his world or quit. You might have the more sensible idea, but you should stick to living your own life.
The third reason is probably more common than we think it is. It’s I will live your life for you because I own it.
Again, the classic example being the obsessive parent. You are my kid and I will tell you what to do and you will do it. It’s not just parent. It could be partner, friend, boss, whoever. And most of the time, this kind of control is subtly veiled by emotional blackmail. “You’re big enough refuse your mother now, huh?” kind of blackmail.
It’s always simpler to live someone elses life. No matter which way you choose to do it. To start with, there’s lesser risk. There’s also the feeling of being “needed by” or being “happy for” someone else.
But at the end of it, it’s a sad, sad thing to do. Why live someone elses life when you can live your own?