Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Food For Thought : Fit Into The Crowd

An old friend of mine asked my opinion for his total makeover. I was very surprised by his sudden urge to do a total makeover because for all the years that I've known him, he is one perfectly fine guy who is laid back and well-liked among friends. We chatted and I found out that he is doing this to woo a girl and also to make himself more popular among his friends.

For a moment, I totally disagree with what he wants to do. In my humble opinion, why compromise yourself to make others like you? Even if they do like you, and even if the special someone do fall for you, is it really you that is being loved? Are you sure they can accept you for your good and your flaws, not just the way you dress or act?

But on second thought, aren't we all acting in the eyes of the world? I knew of a girl who was so strong, always insisted on never explaining herself, and held so true to her individualism. I had tremendous amount of respect for her stand to be herself. But now, even she crumbled under peer pressure and succumbed herself to fit in the crowd. It really makes me wonder...

Is it really necessary to change who you are to fit in the crowd?

We are all sane people who play our roles in the society. We are not crazy people who are out of the society's norm. I agree that changing for the better is inevitable. If adopting certain attitude or cultivating certain habits are productive and beneficial to life, then why not? But changing to "fit into the crowd"? Does that mean that I have to start wearing pink because the whole clique likes to wear pink? Does that mean that I have to start cursing if the whole gang is foul-mouthed? Does that mean that I have to give up my whole collection, because my significant other doesn't like it? Does that mean that I should have sex too because everyone is doing it?

Should we compromise ourselves to make others happy, even if it means being miserable ourselves?

I have to admit that I am not a person that is good at pretending. I don't know how to hide my sad or angry face. I don't know how to still smile and crack silly jokes when my heart is aching, though I am still working on that department. Sometimes, I think it is quite obvious to know how I feel about someone or something. I do what I like, I mean what I say, I eat what I want. I am just simple logic, even common sense may not be needed to figure me out. I believe that people will accept me for simply being me, with no mask, no hide, no fake expression or sweeten tactful words.

I believe in "What you see is what you get."

Does that mean that I have to change into the complex beings all around me? Does that mean that I have to start hiding my feelings so that I will no longer be labelled as "emo" or "emotional"? Does that mean that I should give up myself so that I can be part of the community?

Isn't it boring when everyone in the community have the same set of value, same set of interests, same set of everything?
Or am I just being too strong an individual?

And so far, the most blatant and nonsensical thing that I've heard about me is that some people are jealous of my individualism so they have no choice but to hate me.
Does it make any sense to you?

I believe that everyone has the right to be an individual. Everyone can be an individual. Why do you want to be like everyone else when it is so much more attractive to Just Be You? Why do you want to be like everyone else when you are a unique individual in your own right?

And please don't hate me because you chose not to be an individual.

PS: The above are purely my opinion. The anecdotes above are true incidents that made me think. I sincerely apologize if I have offended anyone with my strong words. Like I said before, I usually just say what I mean. I think this is an issue that cross our minds at least once. Readers, opinions wanted!!


andrew said...

A very thought-provoking post but I can understand why do people tend to try and fit in. The main fact that we can never deny is that mankind is a herd-type of animal, a social-based lifestyle and so the urge to blend in to be same with the rest has always been integrated into our genetic coding. The fact remains that animals tend to be in a crowd for safety purpose because if you are sticking out from the herd, it will be a mark for predators to aim and kill that particular animal. This behavior of the herd also has some influence onto us as the herd will only accept those who follow the trend of the herd. Examples that we can see is the zebra herd in Africa.

I know it isn’t the best example since zebras can’t force itself to change its stripes away unlike mankind but if we bring it to humans, the fact remains that individualism is usually bad for the continuation of the species. I believe that’s where the saying “No man is an island” comes from since man have to be with other people for survivability.

I think I have been writing too much already so to end it I would just like to say, there is nothing wrong in being an individual instead of part of the herd now. The predators of the past are now the headhunters of the present and the future and I am sure if you do not portray your uniqueness and individualism, there will be loss of opportunities. The saying has changed now since “Strength only comes from diversity instead of identicalness” and that is what I believe in.

Not many can stand out instead of being an identical robot and so I have lots of respect to those who dare to be different, dare to go against the norm, dare to rebel, dare to break the rules and of course dare to just be you instead of pretending to be another. I mean, wont it be boring if everywhere we can only see pink shirt if the trend of the herd is to pink. Hell, I rather tear out my eyes that to see humans that look and act the same. Just my 2 cents.

Ryanne said...

I agree with you to a certain extent that changing oneself to fit in the crowd is necessary, if and only if one is totally completely comfortable with the change and of course, not a bad change. But compromising our own principles, defying our own set of morals, ignoring our ethics, so that others can accept us? It certainly annoys me for Group Think situation, where people agree for the sake of agreeing...

That is why teenage sex and pregnancy, or drugs and smoking is so blatant and rampant among youths! Because they change to "fit in"!!

On the other hand, I do agree that being different from others do give us the competitive edge from our peers as bosses nowadays look for an individual, not just another person.

andrew said...

In the end, there is only one thing that matters and that is how we face our own conscience. For the case of teen sex and drugs n such....I believe the one at fault is the individual as if the individual have a strong set of principles, surely wont fall into pressuring of the herd.

What are ethics but own personal values that can be changed instantly based on the situation? It is the same with our own set of moral values. These are only self satisfaction only, self gratification so for those who can simply change and accept the 'orders' of the herd then it shows the 'value' of that person.

I do hope that this post will be able to open up the idea of individualism among the people. Strength comes mainly from diversity instead of similarity.

Ryanne said...

Yes, you've said something that I failed to express. WE SET OUR OWN SETS OF VALUES!! I merely disagree on compromising one's value to please others. Change is necessary, essential, and unavoidable.


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