As you opened this article, unconsciously you may have thought that whether it’s appropriate or not to access such content at the place you are at right now, for example, at work. Though we claim to be independent, there are many barriers which regulate or to be specific, hinder our behavior, approach and even our day to day activities. For every action we undertake, we observe people surrounding us and think whether we fit in and whether it’s appropriate as per society’s norms or not.
Social denial, or in better words, being an outcast, troubles us to a greater extent. We have an insuppressible and consistent desire to be accepted by society. We direct our efforts to blend in to the society so that we aren’t tagged as an outcast and liked to be around. This comes down to the basic human nature of living in groups. Humans, are naturally inclined to be in groups for every activity they undertake, and where there are groups, there are certain unwritten rules which every member is bound to follow. If anyone denies to follow those rules, he/she is not accepted or welcomed in the group. These rules or norms are a result of customs practiced since ages which might have been relevant at some point of time but not necessarily in present. On questioning the existence and logic of such rules or norms, the reply received is mostly that it’s been followed by everyone since long!
Inculcating of these rules or norms start since the childhood of a person. Family members, teachers, relatives etc. teach children to follow the rules society has made to live within the society. This teaching is so much intense that the child thinks of these as default behavior and doesn’t question the same. Take a test on yourself, how many so called rules, regulations and customs which you were taught since childhood, were questioned by you??
The way one talks, walks, eats, sleeps, works, travels all are governed by a specific set of invisible rules which might differ from group to group but are certainly present. The bad side is, we don’t dare think different, which makes us mediocre as most of the people follow same thinking pattern. Take any of the successful people, none of them gave in to the society’s norms and had the courage to follow their own will. Most of them were mocked at by people, only to be remembered by masses ages after their life. I wonder if they could have achieved what they achieved, had they listened to society and surrendered to the norms.
While we can’t deny the benefits and comfort of the society rules, sticking to them rigidly and out casting the people who think different from others, isn’t right for the society. People should start respecting that some people might have different thoughts and one must not be out casted just because of being different as far as it does not harm some other person.
We are witnessing some of the roots of the society being shaken, the irrelevant customs being out rightly denied but we need more of that and only we can do this. Ultimately, we form the society and if we only will remain stubborn, how will the change occur? There must be at least one occasion where we couldn’t do what we wanted just because the society didn’t deem it fit. Many dreams have been crushed beneath the society’s rules and norms, and I am sure that almost everyone can vouch for that.
Instead of blindly following the customs, let’s question every custom and decide for ourselves whether we want to follow the same and at the same time, we must accept people who deny following customs with the same respect and honour which we accept people who follow them.