The Greek chorus of your life

Dramatic plays of ancient Greece included a Greek chorus – a group of masked performers who commented on the action taking place on stage. Very often this chorus of voices would express horror or warnings– “Don’t enter there!” – or revealed characters’ hidden motivations and feelings that the audience might not otherwise be aware of.

The concept of a Greek chorus always amused me. The collective reactions of a group of masked GreekChorusfigures sucking in their breath, moaning, jeering, warning and commenting on a character’s activities seemed so ridiculous.

But isn’t that exactly what we deal with when we cater to the dictates of society? Daily we are told to fit in, to conform, and especially as women to be nice and not rock the boat. We get approval and are rewarded for not being “weird” or “difficult.”

Television and magazines instruct us how to look, smell, groom, eat and behave. Advertising manipulates us to want certain goods. The media news tells us only what they want us to know. These are today’s Greek chorus.

We may not be conscious of this modern Greek chorus but that only makes it more effective. Once you become aware of the chorus and acknowledge its effect on you, you can challenge it.

Will you conform to its messages? Will you abide by its dictates? Will you continue to do what’s easy and pleasing for others? Or are you the hero of your own play, writing the action and plotline to suit your best self?

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