Blind Conformity

For the vast majority of this world, blind conformity is automatic. Most of our lives revolve around being part of something bigger than ourselves. For many, it can be family, religion, culture, or even a professional entity. In relation to religion, most people conform to a particular religious sect well before they are able to make a conscious decision to do so on their own They are, perhaps, baptized, brainwashed, and taught to conform to a strict set of beliefs, taboos, rites, and laws concerning everything from sex, dress codes, and disposition with other groups not sharing the same principles. Of course, each group thinks that their way is the only way.

Blind conformity means that that many people fail to realize that they are confirming. They accept their group’s belief systems as completely normal, they act within the guidelines and rules or laws. They claim sovereignty, yet they are nothing more than slaves.

As some people get older, they begin to question or rebel. Some reeled back in while others break free entirely and manage to become independent thinkers. They recognize that blind conformity is not healthy and that there is a lot more to life than their bibles or respective scriptures lead them to believe.

Developing and maintaining rational control of your beliefs is important to being a critical thinker. Every person must be free to think for themselves and control their own thoughts; not be told what to believe and how to think. They should be free to question everything, to evaluate beliefs based on evidence and, most importantly, reason.

Conforming is unavoidable. We all must conform to something, but handling it gracefully is key. Conformity occurs in practically every aspect of life. You can see it in print media, music, office environments, relationships, etc.

Take notice to “rules” that exist within our (your) culture. How often do you find yourself dubbing something as “good” or “bad” and how often is your view shared with popular culture? Do you find yourself jumping on the bandwagon because everyone else is or have you examined, analyzed, and arrived at a conclusion based on sound reasoning and actual evidence?

In some cultures, people who rebel against accepted arbitrary social rules are killed. If you are not living to their rules, their standards, or their scriptures then you are “bad” and set aside or met with death.

Be free. Don’t be afraid to question. Don’t be afraid to be different. Be yourself. Don’t think in term of right/wrong or good/bad. Consider how various arbitrary social conventions have given birth to arbitrary laws and how the enforcement of those laws can lead to unnecessary human suffering and unjust practices.

Do not mindlessly follow the crowd. Figure out for yourself what to accept and what to reject.

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Determination

What separates the great guitar player from one that struggles? Natural talent, perhaps. But, it’s safe to say that great guitar players are made, rather than born. On the same grounds, we can draw a comparison between many different people. Take those who excel with technology and those who struggle. It’s not an effect of being ‘born’ with a specific skill set, but merely the amount of determination that one has when pursuing those skills.

Determination to accomplish something great is often rare. Most people are happy to settle for mediocrity rather than making an effort to be great. As a result, we have a world full of notably unremarkable people. A lot of focus goes towards the unproductive aspects of life. Some would rather be the cool person in a peer group rather than being the most intelligent as the intelligence factor is regarded as nerdy or mean that you are some sort of shut-in bookworm who sacrifices friendship for education. It’s a similar relationship good, bad or right, and wrong.

An end result of the kid who studies hard in school to get top grades, graduate at the top of the class, attend college, and eventually graduate is leading a productive adulthood with meaningful employment in which he can sustain a respectable living. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the kid who never studies, fails to get good grades, perhaps even drops out of school is a future of failure. He will probably become another leech living off of government handouts, working sub-par jobs, and not ever getting to experience that short-lived stardom being the class jackass.

Determination to set yourself above the bar, do more, and achieve higher levels of being is certainly a better choice. Going against the social grain to do what is right to ensure your own future is a much more intelligent choice than the extreme opposite. But as it is in life, there is no black and white or good and evil. There’s always a balancing factor. Not everyone who was once typecast as being a certain way will eventually wind up in the pit of failure. Life would be far too predictable. Instead, you have the few that manage to crawl up out of their boxed reality and become something great. What makes that person different from the rest who become stuck is that he must have some level of determination to want more to become something greater.

The reality that you are currently in, even if it feels like the whole world is against you, it can be changed. You are ‘stuck’, you just need more motivation and determination to change your situation. What can you do to rise above the funk of the now and work towards the great unknown?

Try harder.

Put in more effort.

Do your best.

Don’t just dabble, become a master.