12 July 2005

Nonconformity Now

Conformity. The acceptance of what is proferred combined with the willful abdication of any interest in improving the situation.

Or if you prefer, the dictionary's version: "Acting according to certain accepted standards; orthodoxy in thoughts and belief; the act of going along with what other people think or do; synonyms: conventionality, normality."

Being part of the group--conforming--is a powerful force in societies. So much so, that going against the group--being a nonconformist--can also mean being abnormal.

The Jenius is definitely abnormal.

But note that in My defintion, I define the trait as one of "acceptance" combined with "abdication," taking what's there while denying one's self a chance at anything else. It seems obvious by now that conformity, to Me, is a crime one commits against himself or herself.

As much as I would enjoy describing why The Jenius is abnormal, a better (for now) topic is: Why are so many other folks "normal"? We might think We are noncomformists, but many of Us say so while living lives that can be neatly boxed into not-so-narrow categories that ultimately spell "You are one of many thousands." What is needed is to pursue Life so that it defies categories and becomes "You are one in many thousands."

Along those lines, I read the following article in the inconsistent business magazine Fast Company. In it, four people attempt to define a small piece of noncomformity, but one with enormous impact: a dream job. Their suggestions are:

Let your dream job evolve.

Connect to your passion.

Pursue the creative spirit.

Those who do, teach.


Again, The Jenius could write hundreds if not thousands of words about His own pursuit, closely aligned with these four suggestions and several more. But the obviously more important topic is: Since anyone can do it, why don't you?

Maybe you are. I suspect many of you aren't. For the good of Our Future, We need more of Us who try to be "abnormal," who refuse to merely accept and who insist on creating their own niche.

And if you're wondering "When does The Jenius teach?", you've just seen an example.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

1 comment:

Gabriel said...

I don't think I got the chance to write an essay until I went to college. I was fortunate that my parents always had lots of books around and when I had questions they encouraged me to look for the answers instead of feeding them to me. They instilled curiosity in me and the belief that its alright to question authority. This of course brought me problems during my formal school years and I think it illustrates the conformity problem. Our education systems teaches to accept and memorize facts. Our society values the pursuit of material goals, not of personal fulfillment. Dissent is squashed brutally, just ask our politicians. In general, people conform because they don't know any better.
The answer, as usual, is education. What we should all do is try to encourage thinking. When someone asks us a question, instead of vomiting an answer, we should discuss said answer and make sure the person asking the question leaves with more questions.