Reading Philosophy

Jul 26, 2006 12:46 # 43286

Hawkeye *** has a suggestion...

Breaking Conformity

77% | 5

There exists billions of zombies in today's society. Day in and day out, they do the same things. They wake up at the same time, brush their teeth in the same way, eat the same breakfast, take the same method of transport to work, do the same things at work...

Why do they do it? I believe it is because they hope for something better *some* day. It is their hopes that things will improve if they continue doing that which they have been told all their lives will make things better. It is truly sad. Such people are broken of spirit and have weak minds. They've lost their free will. Instead they do what they have been so well-trained to do, like a dog committing the right combination of tricks to get a doggy treat.

I've found that in almost anything that, at the moment, always seems arduous, tiresome, unrewarding at the time contains a hidden treasure of experience.

Going against the flow of what is routine, normal, and typical will give you a library of experience which will give you a new insight on life. It teaches you what you can accomplish, and in most cases, you'd fine that if you are willing to go against the flow, you are already superior in many ways to the zombies which live amongst us. You become confident in what you do, that, if things go wrong, you can overcome the obstacles as you have done so before.

You know when you have challenged yourself enough, because you won't want to stop. To have experienced new things, you know you could never be happy going back to the routine you were once in. And only living this life, will you be truly alive. Only living this life, will you be able to say you have no regrets when you are a grandfather.

I challenge myself everyday. I feel sorry for those who see things only in the light of "the way it is supposed to be," for no better reason can be explained well enough for them to see it that way. I feel sorry for those who live day in and day out doing the same things. I challenge their routine to do something different, and it is met with negativity that can never be overcome.

I challenge each and every one of you to do the same. Until you see the world in the glorious colors that it has been created in, you must struggle to overcome conformity and learn to see with your own eyes.

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Sep 06, 2006 11:02 # 43420

bvsa508 *** replies...

Re: Breaking Conformity

60% | 2

I do completely agree with what you have said but I think you have to remember that some people have seen the other path. Then chosen not to take it.

Despite the amazing things they may see swimming up stream, some are very content being that way. It makes me think of the Matrix movie and that I'm sure one day they would of found people who would be happy to stay in it, rather than brave the new world and face change. Some people just hate/ fear change, and the 9-5 zombie situation, is comforting.

I am certainly not a zombie although I feel I am trapped a little. Whenever I feel that my 9-5 is dragging me down and killing my soul, I ring reception and ask to get put through to my extension number. They tell me that line is busy and I say that's fine, I'll hold. It's not anarchy, it's not messing with the system, it's my little rebellion everyday and it keeps me going.

Dec 09, 2006 15:39 # 43706

lotus * replies...

Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry - surprise surprise

60% | 2

It doesn't make sense that with billions of people gracing the earths surface that we all conform, where is all the individuality gone? People don't initiate steps to achieve their aspirations so life passes them by. Day after day. After day.

I don't think society could function without conformity though. There's just too many of us now to support wild, mind-blowingly awesome lifestyles and attitudes. It's easier [and cheaper] to keep a social minority of raw creative people on the payroll.

But still, if we all keep at it who knows what could happen, we're all doomed one way or another in life, so give it a go.

>lotus

the end is the beginning.

This post was edited by lotus on Dec 09, 2006.

Jan 24, 2007 17:28 # 43857

MrWhite *** throws in his two cents...

Re: Breaking Conformity

87% | 3

I agree totally what you say, Hawkeye. Society today is monotonous, repetitive, mindless and conformist. I admire what you say, if you speak truthfully, about pushing yourself and your individuality. The society we live in, it's depressing - but only for those who struggle, and those who do not feel like they fit in (like me!).

I agree what you say, about people believing that things will always imrove in the future, and being 'scared' of change.

I believe alot of the supression of individuality comes from the formaiton of long-term relationships, and families/children. If we have people in our lives that we love, we feel a responsibility to look after them, and protect them. Protection and wild adventures don't exactly go hand in hand.

Not meaning to sound patronising or sexist towards women, but when your instinctual priority is the safety of your children, then challenging the repetitiveness of looking after them isn't going to be top of your list.

I believe alot of social conformity stems from school. To a young child, fitting in and being liked is extremely important at. Once you get into that mindset (as I realise now I did), it becomes hard to stand out, to say what you think, to not care what other people think of you. Because you want to have lots of mindless freinds, or so the cool kids wont laugh at you. So you conform. And you are trapped. Once you supress your personality to fit in, it's very hard to go back. Looking back now, I wish I was confident enough to be one of the 'wierd' kids in school, and to supress my personality for no-one.

...you'd fine that if you are willing to go against the flow, you are already superior in many ways to the zombies which live amongst us

I do not feel than anyone who has realised the pointless monotony of the rest of society/people, should look down on it/them. Many people just don't realise; maybe because they enjoy it anyway, maybe because they have just never really thought about why they are unfulfilled or unhappy.

My older sister has taken such an attitude to the extreme. She has an interesting, wild, and completely uninhibited life. I completely admire, and perhaps envy, her for it. But she looks down on other people who are not like her. She actively resents anyone who does not actively help prevent climate change, or has right - wing political views (she's anarchist), or indeed people of the christian faith!! She has become self righteous and arrogant of her own ways, and condescending and resentful of anyone against her. She says it is 'the only way she can cope' with the world. And I really, really don't like to see her think that way. We must not look down on the monotonous majority - I don't believe most of them they know any better.

Please, let's not argue. You love your wife; I love your wife. You see, we're on the same level here

Jan 25, 2007 08:53 # 43859

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: Breaking Conformity

?% | 1

I was never suggesting to look down to them. They are our world. Even a lowly garbage man serves his purpose in society, which someone must fill.

Though, I only meant to say that such a garbage man would probably never amount to anything more, and more importantly, a garbage man probably would never want to amount to anything more. That is the sad thing. It's one thing to live the life you lead, and it's quite another to make your dreams match the hellish day you life everyday in order to make yourself happy.

To set your goals higher is to never be content with yourself. Most people can't live like this, in fact. That's probably why they try to make themselves believe that the life they lead is the one they've always wanted, and that all they have to do is 'get that promotion' and things will be perfect. However, of course while that would make us happier, the same gray days will begin to loom over in the distance once life becomes routine again. So to set your goals higher means to see life in color, and to live to obtain it.

Your sister seems to be exactly this type. I admire her as well.

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Jan 25, 2007 18:21 # 43860

null throws in his two cents...

Re: Breaking Conformity

and more importantly, a garbage man probably would never want to amount to anything more. That is the sad thing.

What's wrong with this if he's happy?

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Jan 26, 2007 08:06 # 43861

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: Breaking Conformity

?% | 1

Because, taking family, friends, and everything else out of the equation, if his job as a garbage man is grueling, unrewarding, routine, I can't possibly accept that a man can be truly happy doing so unless he has somehow deluded himself into thinking so so that he can live with himself in the morning.

If he likes physical work, perhaps his ideal job would be more like a carpenter where he sees the fruits of his labor, for example. Lets be honest with ourselves. Nobody grows up wanting to be a garbageman.

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

This post was edited by Hawkeye on Jan 26, 2007.

Jan 27, 2007 23:14 # 43867

MelMel *** replies...

Re: Breaking Conformity

?% | 1

I strongly suggest you watch an Australian film called Kenny. it's about a toilet cleaner essentially, who loves his job. it's a fantastic film, really enlightening and hilarious.

Look at me! I'm a prostitute robot from the future!

Jan 28, 2007 10:59 # 43868

null replies...

Re: Breaking Conformity

Nobody grows up wanting to be a garbageman.

Nope, we all want to be pilots, or locomotive drivers, or nurses, or princesses. (I wanted to be an inventor)

Let's assume that nobody can ever be 100.0000% happy with every aspect of their lives, because let's face it, not even Bill Gates can buy destiny or chance, or even something as simple as sunny weather on his daughter's birthday.

But say the garbage man is content with his life: he's got a wonderful wife and kids and they live in a nice little house or apartment. His job is not so prestigious, but he doesn't have deadlines to meet or a boss breathing down his neck, and he likes working out in the fresh air. In short, he's a really simple man with a simple life.
Would his life be any less worth living than that of a successful stock broker with a 40-room mansion and a Bentley who cannot enjoy what he owns because he still wants more?

When life hands you a lemon, that's 40% of your RDA of vitamin C taken care of.

Jan 29, 2007 14:41 # 43871

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: Breaking Conformity

Would his life be any less worth living than that of a successful stock broker with a 40-room mansion and a Bentley who cannot enjoy what he owns because he still wants more?

You're assuming a successful stock broker with a 40-room mansion and a Bently would want more. If that is what he's always wanted to achieve, then he would look no further. At that point onwards, he'd never work a day in his life.

The difference between him and a simple garbageman with a wonderful family is that perhaps both could be happy, but one of them doesn't have the life he would have wanted (at least job-wise).

I'm assuming of course that the garbageman wouldn't want to be a garbageman. If it were the odd case that he would, then I would not encourage him to change his life in any way. Though, I sincerely doubt there are many people that if given the opportunity to take any job in the world, they'd pick a garbageman.

(And by the way, I can see the appeal to invent. I imagine it is the same feeling I get when I create a program that nobody has thought of before.)

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Jan 26, 2007 18:18 # 43863

MrWhite *** replies...

Re: Breaking Conformity

92% | 4

I take your point about aspiring to be a garbageman - if there is a garbageman out there totally satisfied with his (or her) job, then they are probably alone in that feeling. But I don't think that constant dissatisfaction with who you are, and the relentless desire to become 'more' is the path to satisfaction.

To set your goals higher is to never be content with yourself. Most people can't live like this, in fact.

I disagree. Alot of people working 9-5 in mild boredom/displeasure may be unhappy, but to keep distract themselves from the reality of their situation, they aspire to improve. If they coukld just get that promotion, just get a bit more money, just make a few more freinds, then everything will be okay, right? Such a mindset can easily distract you from the truth of who or what you really are. And then, if such a goal is achieved, then people realise that what will actually make them satisfied, is another promotion, and more money! It becomes a vicious cycle of need and dissatisfaction.

The 'American Dream', as you yanks have it (i'm guessing you're american from your spelling of 'colour'), is based on the ideal that society is classless, and all men are equal. A dream that is slowly creeping around the world, avec capitalist democratic culture. This creates the aspiration that anyone can become successful. So people belive that they can. But not everyone does, only a few. And such a desperate reliance on a dream with such a low success rate, is what leaves millions of people around the world grinding at the 9-5 until they work no more.

The point that i am trying to make is that if you can become more satisfied in your life and who you are, without clinging to the hope that somehow, someday things will just improve, then you can be happier. We should always push ourselves, but some people rely on dreaming of more, when all they have is monotony. I dont think that constantly challenging and trying to improve yourself is the only way to happiness . You just have to break the mould, and free yourself from social conformities, and experience life!! The world that's out there!!

All credit to you hawkeye, if you can push yourself so, and be happy with it. But if the garbageman didn't dream of being a millionaire, then maybe he wouldn't be so unhappy as a garbageman...

Please, let's not argue. You love your wife; I love your wife. You see, we're on the same level here

Jan 27, 2007 13:49 # 43866

Hawkeye *** replies...

Re: Breaking Conformity

?% | 2

I stick with my sentiment that if a garbageman were content with his life, it would be for reasons other than his occupation.

It's an interesting irony, the 'American Dream'. Not everybody can be what they aspire to be. But I believe this 'classless' ideal is the type of mentality that would have averted the dark ages. I honestly feel the dark ages was a product of everyone in the serf class 'committed' to the life that was laid out in front of them in combination with religion promising great things in the life beyond. This was the way they coped, only by the promise that things will be better later.

Though, I'm not going to insist that the 'American Dream' doesn't have its downfalls, you must admit, it aspires greatness from those who aren't great. Perhaps they can't ever hope of being great, but at least in some small way, they are better than they were before they thought they were never going to amount to something.

If the world should blow itself up,the last audible voice would be an expert saying it can't be done

Mar 27, 2007 14:01 # 44253

smashedmotif * throws in his two cents...

Re: Breaking Conformity

?% | 1

All this talk about garbage management workers (I'm not being politically correct, I am only using a more clear term), has made me want to add to this post.

As it is, without waste management we would be doomed.

If a truck of some sort didn't haul off our waste, it would pile up very fast. May be the latter isn't a profound statement, but think about it a second. What would it be like to have an alley full of trash. What of people who place their trash on the crubside of their residence?

The pay for waste management workers is higher than most people realize. While it may be a dirty job, it sure would be a rewarding feeling to have helped save a neighborhood from being infested with varmin and bugs.

I love reading Russian Literature!!!

Apr 08, 2008 18:28 # 45676

Turings_child *** replies...

Re: Breaking Conformity

?% | 1

All this assumes that our job defines what we are and all our aspirations surround just one area of existence. It also implies that those who do not seek power or money are in some way inferior. Yet money and power lead to conformity. A lawyer or banker is the essence of conformity. So is our garbage disposal operative.

I sell in a callcenter and I certainly conform to the wage slave scenario, I have to work. But do I conform to other preconceptions attached to that label? No I don't. I write historical articles, I read widely and write fiction. I enjoy books about philosophy and the physics of time. I am a genealogist. I enjoy films both for entertainment and intelligence purposes. I am an athiest and don't believe 90 percent of what I am presented with via various types of media. I am also an amateur student of human psychology. In my experience the 'I am superior' tone of the original post really means I am trying to justify myself. The poster seems desperate to prove that he is nonconformist whilst being afraid that he is conforming to society.

I have also married twice and had two kids which may be seen to conform to society yet bringing up children forces you to challenge your preconceptions every minute of every day.

It would be more accurate to ask if there are any areas of you life in which you don't conform but if so then so what, conforming or not is a life choice too.

I thinks therefore I is

This post was edited by Turings_child on Apr 08, 2008.

Apr 09, 2008 22:20 # 45695

harold_maude *** replies...

Re: Breaking Conformity

I just found this thread. I know first hand what looking for something wonderful in the mundane can do.

I also know about the people you talk about, the zombies. Sometimes I think that it's so easy to fit yourself into a routine that works that it becomes a box.

I tend to like to throw boxes out the window because boxes limit everything.
Sometimes breaking out of the mundane and halted world that can hold us can be as simple as making a different choice than was made the day before.
Sometimes it starts there.

Sometimes it's taking a closer look at everything we thought we knew about ourselves and seeing if that's really who we are or is it more of what other people have told us they want us to be.

One thing to remember about breaking out as it were, is that not everyone will be comfortable with what you want to do, your part of their routine don't forget, and the last thing that some people want is their rountine disrupted. So they will fight you to keep you where you are.
something to think about.


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