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Life Script Decisions I

The life script is the socially expected outline of how one will live their life. Life script decisions are when we decide to follow the life script of our upbringing or to take up a different script. The general script is laid out for all to follow, with winner and loser scripts for the outliers.

Life scripts provide a few, socially acceptable decision points with alternative paths made available in certain circumstance.

The process of making life script decisions is based on the expected progression of one's life. The available options at various decision points are also part of the life script. Following a life script is similar to the concept of a pick a path book - there are decision points in which one can pick which path to choose but limited choices considered acceptable at that time.

The process of making decisions is driven by both the individual's own choice and the peer pressure to conform to the life script of that time and place. Decisions are made with feedback from peers, parents and role models. Feedback for the career path could come from parents, teachers, mentors or guidance counselors. Feedback on potential spouses comes from parents and peers.

Refusing to marry someone of the same religion in Muslim cultures, refusing an arranged marriage in much of the Middle East or India, refusing to marry at all in traditional cultures all generate negative feedback. The negative feedback is due to the violation of that society's life script.

Evaluation of life decisions is made against the life script, since violating the expected flow garners disapproval and even ostracism. Marrying too young, having children too young, and marrying in old age are decisions made by a person with negative judgments based on violating the expected time line of the life script.

Life scripts can be selected based on one's ambitions or parental approval. Winner life scripts are for the most talented or upper social levels. For example, the smart girl from a poor family could be encouraged to go to college and become a teacher. The young man with musical or acting talent leaves home with his talents and seeks fame and fortune in Hollywood.

The young man of a lower class background but athletic ability tries out for the team and becomes a famous athlete. Or he joins the military and rises through the ranks to respect, pay and adulation as a warrior or general. Positive feedback on these decisions encourages the talented youth to follow a socially acceptable alternate path for upward mobility. Negative feedback will influence the process of making a life decision. Being told you cannot or should not prevents someone from deviating from the standard script and trying to achieve more.


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