Balance between Conformity and Resistance
According to Leon Mann, conformity means yielding to group pressures. Everyone is a
a member of one group or another and everyone expects members of these groups to
behave in certain ways. Fear of humiliation can lead to conformity.
People agree with others because they fear being ridiculed, or being isolated from the society. They fear the idea of not being a part of the whole. Society tries to place many regulations on us as individuals as to what is admissible and what is not. We must decide for ourselves whether to conform or not to specific rules and regulation.
Conformity is an important aspect of life in our society and allows us to live a free life without
the pressure of being different and being an outsider. We have to obey rules to have
the good and desirable life we are hoping to achieve. If we did not pay taxes, we would not
have schools and the education to make a good paycheck for a desirable living. We
would not have all the comforts that make our life so much more relaxed and appealing.
we did not have any laws, and everybody did what they think is right, we probably
would not be alive anymore. Our whole society would crash and we would have killed each other by now.On the other side, comfort and stability should not stand over the suffering of others or our own misery. Sometimes we have to stand up for others and we shout not ignore our own wishes just to keep the freedom.
When I came to the United States, I started working in a factory to make a living. I did not speak much English at that time and some treated me very badly and others ignored me, like I did not even exist. For a while, nobody was there to explain or train me for my job and I messed up a lot, not knowing better. The worst part was that my feelings were very hurt because I could not understand why I was treated that way, not doing anything wrong to anybody there.
Just when I was ready to quit my job, because I started getting badly depressed, a lady came up to me asking if I would like to sit next to her at break time. She said she feels awfully bad for me sitting there all by myself and she apologized for her coworkers behavior. I still remember how everybody stared at us in the lunch room but she acted like she did not notice. The same day others came over to me starting a conversation and soon after I was accepted from most.
I will never forget how much difference that lady made to me, because she stood up for a total stranger. She showed me the importance of standing up for somebody regardless of other’s beliefs. Henry David Thoreau claims in his writing ” He who gives himself entirely to his fellow men appears to them useless and selfish; but he who gives himself partially to them is pronounced a benefactor and philanthropist.” (p.
217) In order to be satisfied in our lives we have to make sacrifices. Maybe we are making less money because we cannot conform to a company’s rules, but we are certainly more happy not having to obey rules we cannot fully accept. Often we hear people complaining about issues, but mostly they are only complaining to their families and friends. The complainer is not changing his situation with this and stays dissatisfied and makes their listener feel helpless also.
My husband, who is at college for four years now, keeps complaining since the beginning from college about the out-of-class groups. Even thoug I always understood his point, he is working full time and do not have the time for it, there was nothing I could do to change it. I only could tell him to go to the school board and let them know about his situation and they may be able to help. I believe that if he is paying for his education he should have a word on how his education is handled.
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