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.