To make one more point about fitting in to society: one more thing about it is that, as it’s always changing, the situation, the environment, the ecosystem, the world that this society is living in, we’re constantly undergoing change and transformation, as old ways gradually fade and new ways appear and take over.
Of course, I think that most of the things always remain the same, but still can’t avoid seeing all the things that are changing as the world changes in so many of its details.
As much as fundamental human life and the world change slowly, if at all, so much about how we conduct life, how we do business, how we are able to interact with this world is obviously changing.
And society, of course, is living in this world, and ideally is meant to be responsive to it and adapted to it.
It tries to be a system that works with the way things are.
But the way things are is constantly changing, and sometimes it seems like society is not able to change and keep up with everything that’s different.
Because this whole idea of, you know, being normal and fitting in with what everybody does: well, that’s a very strong force for people not changing.
Because how can you change if there’s this drive to fit in with everybody else? Well, anybody who tries something new tries to live differently is going to automatically stand out and not fit in as well as those who are still doing things the way that they’re expected to be done.
So gradually, we see each generation is gradually changing.
There’s new things brought in to become the new normal, and the old normal fades away with the older generation.
So we see this gradual change.
But if we place ourselves in the middle of society, and you know, try to fit in and do our best to be acceptable to society, we may be caught on the wrong side of some of these changes.
We may find that the way that people are living that is considered “normal”, there’s something wrong with it, and it doesn’t fit the way that we understand the world to be.
And it seems like one of the effects of this misfit between the way society and “normal”, is and the way the world is, is this kind of a sense of strain.
There’s a sense of being stretched and squeezed.
Somehow we’re living life according to a principle that doesn’t quite fit reality.
And so, when there’s this mismatch, there’s this kind of dissonance.
There’s a kind of discord between how we are living and what really fits with reality.
And we’re always going to be behind the curve on this, because we never really can predict everything that’s going to happen and know exactly what to do.
But I think we can see it coming out in so much of the strain that so many people feel, the rise of feelings of alienation, mental illness, feelings of ennui, disconnection, depression, feelings of something not being quite right.
Despite all the material successes and apparent excellence of our modern “normal” society, there’s just something that doesn’t quite fit, something that doesn’t quite work, and it seems like we’re increasingly seeing this strain that comes out of it.
So besides all the strain and difficulty that can come with being one of the people on the fringes that doesn’t fit into the mainstream, it’s in the mainstream itself that we see so much strain, as the mass of society is going in sometimes different directions than reality, we might describe it as.
And so by accepting to be part of this, by choosing to be normal and fit in with society, we also accept anything that is off with society.
Whereas maybe if we can fit in in some ways but still be thinking for ourselves, and somehow maybe have the option to go a different way, we might be able to find a better solution for how to live in this world.
So it’s a very abstract point about society and how it fits with reality, but it just makes me think that, of all the advantages that we have with being accepted by society and this mainstream consensus, we also take on the risk that we’re part of the herd that’s going off the cliff.
And that maybe in the future, there will be a few people that go different directions, and maybe they can lead future society to go that way as well.
But I’d be curious to hear your thoughts about this idea.
#socialstrain #beingnormal #followthecrowd