The stupid obsession with conformism

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Is there anything more stupid than trying to conform to those around us when we are all born different?

Even more stupid is to observe the emptiness of every individual taken from their surroundings, their boredom, their deep depression alone, their immaturity and their failure to fulfill themselves within the conformity they imposed on themselves… and despite this, choose to follow them!

« The characteristic of conformism is that it is not felt by those whom it dominates. » – Emmanuel Berl

I do say choose to follow them. It is a choice made by anyone who observes the rout of his  or her entourage, but chooses to conform to it. A choice which is often implicit, unsaid, unrecognized, denied and substituted for complacency, out of fear of being excluded by the group … or worse, cursed by a supreme divine force that, sometimes governs the group, and sometimes obey it…

In countries that are struggling to develop, it is extremely difficult for the different generations to coexist.

To make matters worse, the lack of means and the States’ and Governments’ contempt oblige the younger ones to cohabit with their elders. A perilous cohabitation in most cases, that destroys all dreams, ambitions and meanings.

Thus, the law of the strongest is reproduced foolishly inside the family: the one who has the money and society’s respect, to the detriment of the one who has logic and thirst for growth.

Young people are therefore faced with a stark choice (conscious or unconscious):

  1. Refuse conformity: this leads them into arduous and painful conflict situations with their surroundings, and gradually, isolates them.
  2. Escape their surroundings: by (re)creating their own world – a virtual world or a parallel life – or by leaving their relatives, their society, and even, their country.
  3. Forget their childhood dreams and accept their situation.

« Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. » – Mark Twain

If refusing to comply is the most natural reaction to a child before becoming an adult, multiplying conflicts has a very little chance to pay off in the absence of collective consciousness and willingness.

Unless the young person’s objective becomes mobilizing peers to transform the whole society, a more pacifist, but solitary option, is to escape : creating a virtual world through games and imagination, a parallel life by violating some society codes or leaving one’s country as soon as an opportunity arises, are all attempts to exit from a bitter and suffocating reality, with the hope of saving one’s soul and accomplishing oneself  elsewhere.

In either case, refusal of conformity is the driving force. However, the outcome is not the same. Those who turn a blind eye to their dreams for too long risk losing any capability to project themselves into the future and convey pessimism.

It is through an extraordinary mechanism – which I would call « animal survival » – that other individuals will choose to forget their dreams and accept their mediocrity within their surroundings and society.

Their choice – as their mediocrity – is the least conscious of all, because it is an animal survival choice, where the need to feel secure, to drink, eat and breed prevails over the need to reflect and to evolve. This is the guarantee of human race continuity…

« La première qualité d’un créateur, c’est le courage. Le courage d’affronter le scepticisme, le conformisme et, finalement, la jalousie. » – Claude Allègre

Giving up our dreams is what deprives us, as humans, of our true nature and of our tremendous and unknown talents. Nevertheless, acceptance is what is necessary to feel at home …

Accepting to be different, accepting to celebrate our own nature, accepting to fight for our dreams, or accepting to fit into the mould … are choices that we must recognize as such to live happily and peacefully…

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