By Mian Saud Ahmed
We spend our whole lives trying to ‘fit in’, it starts early from fitting into that blue or pink romper on our first day in this world, and continues to haunt us throughout our lives no matter where we go. In schools, colleges, societies, universities, and even at homes. The idea of the ‘need to fit in’ or belong to a certain class or group has been programmed into our brains so deeply, that we do not even realize how it effects our lives. As a child grows and starts interacting with people outside the comfort zone of home, he learns a lot about behaviors and manners of different people of society. But this society starts playing with a child’s developing brain and teaches him ‘how to move about in life’. That’s where it all begins, the child grows up knowing that he has to choose a group and follow the rules of that group otherwise he won’t be able to survive, then that very child goes to school, again, he has to choose a group of fellow kids without actually wanting to be with them. He lives with them, does things the way they do it, without daring to move out because he has been told that he wouldn’t survive outside the crowd, no matter how preposterous that crowd be. The thing about these “groups”, based on so called mutual interests, is that there is always one person who becomes the leader and the rest become mere followers.
In this process of choosing a group and following the rules, a person loses his individuality, identity and worst of all the ability to think! The fear of not being able to survive, the need to conform, the need to please society snatches the possibilities of achieving better things in life which one can achieve only by following his own heart and not what people want him to do. Conforming might be the easier way out of many situations but it’s not always the best way. Fitting in demands sacrifices as great as individuality and self-worth. Emerson says, “The objection to conforming to usages that have become dead to you is, that it scatters your force. It loses your time and blurs the impression of your character.”
Emerson says, “The objection to conforming to usages that have become dead to you is, that it scatters your force. It loses your time and blurs the impression of your character.”
We often meet people who despise a number of customs or traditions of a society yet they follow them, because they do not believe in their power, their ability to challenge the society and for once do things the way they have never been done before.
Our ways of living are mendicant, our education, our manners even the way we get married, the number of children we have, the clothes we wear, we have not chosen any of these, society chose it for us. The act of ‘fitting in’ or conforming, ultimately makes us the unknowns. We become a part of the already existing black hole, which has no beginning and no ending, it’s meant to be there for ages, hollow and void. But nothing in the world, no civilization, group or class will bring you contentment than your own being. If God wanted all human beings to function the same way, He would have given one big brain they could use mutually.
There are 7 billion people but not even one has same fingerprints as yours, isn’t that enough to know that you are different, your motives, your principles, your aims are different than anybody else in the world? You do not have to waste your energy in attempts of fitting in.
It’s okay to be YOURSELF! Peace.
The writer Mian Saud Ahmed is a Software Engineer by profession. He writes on information technology, social cause, national issues and motivational topics.