Conformity is the result of a process by which people’s beliefs or behaviors are influenced by others within a group in the formation and maintenance of social norms. This process can involve subtle forms of coercion as people generally seek conformity through a desire to achieve a sense of security within a larger group of people usually of similar age, culture, religion or educational status. It is thus common among young people as an aspect of youth culture and is related to the social dynamics of gangs. Any unwillingness to conform carries with it the very real risk of social rejection, alienation and ostracism. In this respect conformity can be seen as a safe means of avoiding bullying or deflecting criticism from peers.(Wikipedia)
How many of us CONFORM?
From the above definition we can see the WHY of conformity. Why do people conform? To achieve a sense of security? To be a part of the group? But does it work? Is there really safety in conformity? Since conforming might mean ignoring your point of view in favor of the larger group’s point of view, will this perceived sense of “security” really make you feel better? Eventually will you be happy?
I say No. Conformity is not the way to go. If someone follows rules without knowing the reason for those rules and just because everyone else is doing it, then it defeats the purpose of individuality & personal discretion. Or ‘Free Will’, as the Western world loves to refer to it.
One might ask, how can we say a poor street dweller has free will. He is bound by his circumstances, right? I would say he still has free will. The point being he is free to choose what he will or will not do. He can choose not to become a druggie, or an alcoholic. He can choose to work hard to earn a living. He can choose not to resort to the illegal or unlawful activities. Get my drift?
The choices we are presented with in life might be different but there are always options and we all need to take responsibility for our choices. If we do, then conformity will be just another word in the dictionary.