Social Conventions

Rebel or visionary…unique individual or attention seeker….

There comes a point where a person has to ask what is the purpose of a social convention.  It is always difficult to be the “odd one out”, to differ in some way from the norm.  The question remains though, within the bounds of what is legal, when do you become a unique individual?

We, as a species, spend a considerable amount of time being socialized to not only what is right and wrong but what is proper and improper.  This comes in the form of manners, social conventions, norms, and the like.  The paradox comes when you have to decide between being a member of a strong cultural society and being a unique luminous being.   Both carry with them onus and right.  Balancing the two, however difficult, can be the crux of a life quest or journey that may last lifetimes.

In the most extreme cases, this deviation from social convention takes the form of outright disobedience, standing against what might be seen as unjust laws.   Parks, King, Ghandi, and others have stridden across history by simply saying No, this is wrong and I will not stand for it.  In other cases, alternative religions, lifestyles, movements, and ideals are the cornerstone of throwing off these social conventions. 

At what point though does this seeking of right or uniqueness cross over to hubris?  Does shocking the public make a good enough reason to seek the uniqueness?  Or does the shock come from someone who is firm in their idea of themselves and how the world sees them?  In either case, the world around them reviles at the idea of someone who is not acting in accordance of the accepted behavior.   How the individual meets these disparages means as much as the social convention that was ignored. The paradox remains though on what action is under the power of the individual and what is of society.

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