A few days ago, I read a friend's post about how conforming to society can drastically change one's individuality. For years now, I've been a firm believer that whenever society changes you, it's wrong, or whenever you change for society, you're wrong. It's only when I started pondering about this idea more while sitting on my couch, cat in my lap, KOAN sound in my ears while reading the post that I developed a whole new perspective on it.
We have all been blaming "society" for the fact that we are flawed in the ways we are, that our vanity and our obsession with pleasing come with the heavy burden societal standards have dumped on our shoulders, and I would say that this hypothesis is not wrong at all -- if we looked at it under the constricted light of negativity and stripping one off "individuality".
You see, I've come to realize that none of us are singular anymore. We are alterations of a series of traits that we all possess. We can never be truly original, and we can never truly be different solely because of the fact that that isn't how the world and human beings work. Influence and inspiration are both major keys in our upbringing, and despite what we do, despite how we try to stray from being "the same as everyone else," we will undeniably be hit, if only feather lightly, by an action which will henceforth result in change, if only minuscule or microscopic, within ourselves. This has been ultimately termed The Butterfly Effect on a larger scale.
Despite the irrefutability of this fact, however, we have still managed to wrap our naive minds around the idea that being the same and changing is wrong, and I question this greatly. Being similar to another by way of taste, or by way of physicalities, or by way of intelligence, idiosyncrasies, preference, changing one's appearances or ideas or perceptions have been hailed wrong, wrong, wrong by everyone of us, and here is where I ask, why?
My altered mindset has now led me to believe that conforming (for this is the core issue at heart here) is a survival tactic we all employ to, well, survive. Examining the picture at its core fundamentals, we are only civilized beasts, who have found a way to think, to create and to believe in the ideas we conjure up. So we dislike being similar, so we dislike being like everyone else, so we have come to embrace the idea of being who you are.
"Being true to yourself" has been a mantra aggressively promoted by the entertainment industry, be it through music, film or literature. It has now been interpreted by the majority as not changing yourself to please others, and I have no objections to this idea, only questions. What do the unconscious alterations we undergo because it is natural to change classify as, and what if these changes are pleasing in the eyes of society, because psychology dictates so? Are we then letting society shape us, and are we then wrong?
My idea of being true to yourself has now changed from the aforementioned to being at peace with the fact that, while we may be alterations of one another, there is only one brain and one mind that controls the body of these shared traits. It is the mentality that matters here; we may be similar, and we may never be polar opposites, and we may change from time to time unconsciously, but between you and I, we're both cool, because we're okay with it. Knowing that we are processes at different stages but still staying firm behind yourself is what I stand behind, now.
Clarification: I am not saying that changing yourself drastically to be accepted in society is okay (this is another issue to be discussed), but merely exploring the idea that it's fine to be like one another. I, myself, am guilty of having undergone extreme actions to fit in and to descend snugly into the long line of socially accepted people with traits I can only dream of having, and I myself know firsthand the critical consequences of such an idea, so no, do not change yourself just so you will be, in the views of many, a beautiful cog in the murder machine. (What's up, MCR reference?!)
Anyway, (incoherent) musings aside, I nearly beheaded myself today. That is perhaps a little too exaggerated an anecdote, but basically, I walked right into a wall and hit myself hard on the forehead. I swear, my clumsiness will be the death of me. I've been busy, busy with work and I've been rehearsing for an upcoming recital, so I've been extra exhausted. Downing four cups of black coffee a day has now become normal.
We're doing Andrew Lloyd Weber's music, transcribed for a String Ensemble and I am beyond excited! I love his music and to play it in a beautifully arranged medley is just too fun! Oh, and let's talk about how these pictures are impeccable conceptually for my word vomit. Mirrors and motion and reflections and paintings, goodness. Huge thanks to the beautiful Shian Li for taking these wonderful pictures!
How has your week been? What are your thoughts on conforming and similarity? TALK TO ME. I DEMAND INTELLECTUAL STIMULATION.