“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”
— John F Kennedy
Conformity is alive and thriving.
I look at the young men and boys with their pants strapped around their thighs and the 5 foot long t-shirt and how you’re lucky to see any male kid not doing that. Walking down the street with one hand strategically holding their pants from falling around their ankles. I think they have a handle in there somewhere. . .
I laugh now, but I was about the same in a different time. When I was in junior high in southern California, (this will show my age) the ‘surfer look’ was all the rage. You had to have white Levi’s (brand name Levi’s), Converse tennis shoes (had to be the black cloth standard low cut brand name Converse or die) and a madras shirt. I think it was supposed to be like The Beach Boys look or something.
If you wore those specific things, you were ‘potentially’ cool. It’s the same as now with the dropped drawers: you can be ‘potentially’ cool. I say potentially because one still has to be ‘accepted’ by whomever leads the ‘group,’ but without the method of dress, you’re just outside the fence.
Later in high school, it was ‘pegged-pants,’ which we had to get on with a shoe horn to get our foot through the bottom as they were so tight. It was a short-lived fad in the mid-1960’s. Then in my first career as a car salesman, it was leisure suits. That was a really short lived fad. Of course, you might remember or have seen photos of the white shoes, white belt and white tie fad for grown-ups. I think it was mostly car salesman and we still think of them that way, don’t we?
The thing is that we try so hard to fit in and be accepted into the group. We do it through school, in our careers at our place of employment, in church, at the gym, you name it, it is in full force. We call those outside the fence ‘nerds,’ don’t we? Like the geeks with the pen protector in their shirt pockets. The ugly side of life.
All of it is conformity and all of it gives up our freedom and is the enemy of growth as John F Kennedy said so well. As we learn to let go of that need to fit in, we can create a path that will lead to a much more interesting life. It’s only for the bold ones among us, but it is there any time we choose to exercise it.
I Am The Unique Me Inside. Now I Let It Out.
Spread Some Joy Today–Let your real self out today at work and freak out your coworkers a bit. It’s good for them–and you!