When did we start to conform?
I’ve been trying to rally local foster parents to bring change to the foster program, but the response is usually, “It is what it is.” “There are laws in place for a reason.” “It’ll never change.” (All this despite a poll I did where basically everyone polled was unhappy with the system.)
Are we not civilians of a free and democratic country? When did we just get so complacent that we forgot that we can enact change (even small changes) in our surroundings? When did we go from authority-challenging kids to hands-in-the-pockets-heads-down yes-people?
I’ll tell you when it was for me.
When I took on a mortgage and had kids.
Those aren’t bad things. I don’t regret them. But I regret conforming.
As a teenage I used to often cry in private because one of my biggest fears was being just another face in the crowd. Oh, the thought of that seriously kept me up at night. I didn’t want to be One of Them.
And now I am.
I put on my slacks, hug my wife and kids goodbye, and drive to work each day. My music selection is as chipper as can be because I know I will be spending the next 8+ hours conforming, submitting, and dare I say it? selling out. Making people happy whom, quite frankly, I don’t give a crap about.
Working hard to please men and women who get paid higher salaries and complain that they’re bored all day at work.
Because I need to pay the mortgage and make sure my kids have Juicy Juice in the fridge.
So my question is this. We’ve got to do what we do at work to pay the bills. That’s fine. But once you clock out, are you still conforming? Or are you figuring out each day how to live a little? How to have fun? To be spontaneous?
Make sure, when you clock out for the weekend at the end of today, you also mentally clock out. Once you get back in your car, you don’t belong to anyone anymore. The rules you follow are not rules at all (be good, stay quiet, blend in).
Do something this weekend to challenge yourself, to push yourself. Even if it’s embarrassing.
Clock out and un-conform.