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#474817 - 01/10/15 09:00 AM "Conform or be cast out."
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11229
Loc: Denver, CO
It wasn’t long ago that a friend sent my primitive flip-phone a text message to see if I could receive texts. When it comes to creating a text, my phone is text-hostile. You have to tediously select the letter from the button. I tried it twice in the past and gave up. When I called my friend and informed him of my inability to text him back is because of my flip-phone, he dumps on me about how I make plenty of money and should get a text-friendly phone. I proceeded to inform him that the plan I have is what I want and that is that.

At work it is quite common to hear sneezes throughout the day. Several will say ‘bless you,’ while I typically say ‘gesundheit.’ For a spanish-speaking coworker, I will even say ‘salud.’ Someone at work singled me out as the only person who doesn’t say ‘bless you’ at the sound of a sneeze. Should I have said nothing?

Why is it that society lauds free-thinking in some areas of life, while at the same time demanding conformity in others? Should these people not respect my individuality, and accept that I am in different in some ways, even ways that do not adversely affect their existence? Rush has a song called Subdivisions, in which the author breaks down and expands on the “be cool or be cast out” theme.

List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That

If I could meet myself as a boy...

#474819 - 01/10/15 11:24 AM Re: "Conform or be cast out." [Re: FormerTexan]
Nothing Man Offline

Registered: 04/10/14
Posts: 211
Loc: Ohio
People have the idea that if everyone could be just like "me" they would be so much happier. Some folks are more likely to express this than others. And all of us, to a certain extent, conform to certain norms that "society," whatever that is, declares. I think there are certain norms that must be observed: Don't kill, don't steal, don't rape, don't molest kids, treat others nicely, don't be a racist/sexist/homophobe/xenophobe. But beyond that, what a person wears or how a person decorates his or her body is up to the individual. However, if one goes outside what is considered "normal" one must be prepared to accept the consequences. Some folks love that. Others fear rejection so much that they conform very tightly to the cultural norms which govern society.

#474824 - 01/10/15 03:22 PM Re: "Conform or be cast out." [Re: FormerTexan]
OCN Offline

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 331
Loc: Western Europe
In the Netherlands we have a saying which translates something like 'don't stand up taller than the crowd'

A friend of mine described my situation pretty nicely last week. He told me that i was always 'off' with my opinions, never afraid to express them and share my views. He is one of those rare friends whom you can miss out for a whole year and then just pick up as nothing ever happened. I think he has a point here. Most people don't like someone who is willing to listen to you but not comply with their opinions. Since most people will conform one way or another, it's odd to them that there are people who won't conform.

To respond to Nothing Man, yes i do recognize the first part of what you're saying. I have thought in the past that it would be better if people would understand me, but i luckely never wished for people to be like me.. something with mirrors and seeing who i really am lol

I guess the answer to your question comes down to (un)certainty. You have to be willing to expose yourself, to defend your own ideas. And then you are cast out, labeled or whatever. For years i didnt have a smartphone and i miss the old days. Communicating wasnt always easy, but at least i wasnt consumed by my phone. So my final thought: stick with that old text-unfriendly phone if it feels right for u smile
Trust me, you are worth it to love yourself!

#474837 - 01/10/15 05:29 PM Re: "Conform or be cast out." [Re: FormerTexan]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: O Kanada
i purposely do things a little different than anyone else, just to be noticed. being noticed includes negative reactions from insecure, ignorant and judgemental people.
i call them petty tyrants.

some of the criticism comes from a good place... the person genuinely thinks you are not aware of the prevailing "norm" and wishes to bring you into the fold.
other people simply consider alternative behaviour deviant, dangerous, threatening and disruptive. as such, it must be attacked and eliminated.

despite the fact that our culture and media openly celebrate individuality and originality and innovation, i have received almost no encouragement or support for my uniqueness.
in fact, my free spirit has been under attack for as long as i can remember. i have been discriminated against for hairstyles, clothing, jewelry, tattoos, opinions, attitude, appearance... a whole list of things that society and employers believe is their business to control.

i am sick of hearing this phrase, "Listen, I personally don't have a problem with your ___________ BUT I have to consider my clients or the public, and I can't have you looking like that."
passing the buck.
what they are really saying is... "I am not a prejudice bigot, but I choose to cater to prejudice and bigotry for the sake of money." what is the difference?

i fought with the railway for 9 years over ridiculous things like earrings and dyed hair. i won every single case, sometimes reinstated with full retroactive pay, until they finally gave up and left me alone. after that, i was completely ostracized by the railway community. i did not last for more that a few years after that. the ostracism succeeded where the oppression had failed.

in canada we have the charter of rights and freedoms which clearly states...

Originally Posted By: Canadian Government
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Section 2
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression,
including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.

Freedom of expression includes: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of communication in general, as well as any body gesture(s) such as a look that conveys meaning, or a showing of feeling. With this freedom of expression, however, is the consistent legal qualifier that the individual produces no related measureable, identifiable or demonstrable harm. For example, unproven or untruthful slanderous or libelous statements which can harm another person's reputation are not legally allowed. Neither is hate speech. The Canadian "Criminal Code prohibits the communication of statements that willfully promote hatred against an identifiable group." Instead, polite and peaceful communications are expected of everyone.

unfortunately there are no "Rights and Freedoms" police.
the charter is not policed by law enforcement officers.
violation of the charter does not seem to be a criminal offence because i have never received any help from the police.
each individual citizen must be aware of, and fight for, their own rights through civil courts, tribunals, appeals and arbitration hearings.

i think that money is really the rule. those with the money wish to exercise power without restriction. employers will always find people with slave mentality. these people will obey orders without question. they will conform, and then confirm and validate each other's obedience and loyalty. it becomes easy to reject any freethinkers demanding dignity. people who know their rights, and choose to express or exercise them, are quickly branded "trouble makers" and "shit disturbers" and are eventually squeezed out of the income opportunities.

groupthink is the enemy of innovation. groupthink is the foundation of mindless mobs. conformity should be a natural voluntary process that occurs over time through association.

tolerance is required but it is lacking. the economic oppression and financial penalties that nonconformists are forced to endure is more than a crime and a sin, it is a huge mistake, a fatal flaw in the fabric of our society.


#476004 - Yesterday at 09:21 PM Re: "Conform or be cast out." [Re: FormerTexan]
Suwanee Offline

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 795
Loc: Southeast USA
"Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone..."

I recognized the reference immediately. As a kid, I experienced the sentiment of "subdivisions" between people. From the outside looking in, I was an odd mix of athlete and scholar. Forever feeling the push to succeed, I longed for a less-structured, less subdivided world where I could simply "be". I wrote a post on this some time back after reading an old journal from high school: I Was Almost Holden Caulfield

In ways both big and small, the human need to clarify and classify is constantly drawing borders around the "like" and "unlike". While it may help tribal cohesion, there are obvious limitations to its use. Unfortunately, those drawing the borders rarely if ever see the dividing lines...or worse...they actively draw the line wider and deeper betwixt and between "this" and "other".

Cruel Summer
My Journal

-Signs and traces left in stone
Ruins of a past unknown-


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