December 16, 2010

Conformity and Individuality

con·form adapt, accommodate, comply, fit. Comply with rules, standards or laws. Behave according to socially acceptable conventions or standards. Be similar in form or type. 
in·di·vid·u·al Of or relating to an individual, especially a single human. By or for one person. Existing as a distinct entity.

If you have ever been to a concert, you've noticed them. If you attend major sporting events, it’s evident. You have seen many of them. In school we called them cliques. Each member attempts to be different while acting the same.

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers. Mignon McLaughlin

They have a deeper understanding of each other, an almost unspoken confidence. To the untrained eye, they may all have had a sip of the Kool-Aid but they will tell you they think freely on their own.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, 
it is time to pause and reflect. Mark Twain

Their iPad was a sound choice made void of any peer influence which is evident in their lack of need to tell everyone on the planet about their purchase. The navy suit with crisp white shirt and steel blue tie was simply a gut call. The tattoo and pocket shorts had nothing to do with establishing an accepted image by others.

When you don't control your mind, someone else will. 
John Alliston

I had a conversation recently with a great friend who said, “that doesn’t fit the culture here” and my lunch almost made a return visit. Culture is not a sentence in the annual report. Be like him and her and you'll do just fine. Step out and we may have a problem.

Do you ever push conformity aside to share a great idea?

knealemann | email

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