Conformity

Washington MonumentSimilarity, doing what others do; acting normal; not standing out…

The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity. Rollo May

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. John F Kennedy     

Don’t think you’re on the right road just because it’s a well-beaten path.  Author Unknown

Conformity should be considered from several vantage points. It is better to be a conformist, or is it better to be a non-conformist? The answer to this question is, “it depends”.

Conformity has both a good side and bad side. Society must have some basic rules of conformity to have a functioning civilization. On a different level, the more we conform to society’s norms, the more we give up individuality liberty and freedom. Most agree that conforming to socially accepted standards, conventions, rules and laws is good. Without such conformity, we have chaos, murder, mayhem and lawlessness. It is absolutely necessary to hold people accountable to an organized system of necessary standards and laws. Non-conformity is not good and cannot be allowed. There are exceptions; prejudice and discrimination when it is entrenched as a societal norm is wrong. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others had to bring “non-conformity” to a fever pitch basis to get enough attention to turn the tide of racial discrimination. Sometimes conforming is just wrong.

If our desire is to become the best we can be; regrettably we must “non-conform” from the norm and accepted in matters of growth and personal development. Conformity also mean “average”; to exist within a “conform” zone and one who accepts status quo. Most are content to live compromised lives as compared to being different and striving to be their best. We are not willing to “pay the price”, “walk the walk” or “eat the elephant one bite at a time”. We accept what life minimally offers, rather than go out, plant and cultivate our own fields of success.

If we were to be graded on how well we are living up to our potential, most would be given a “C”. This means average. Regrettably the average person seeks to develop their full potential only on a “normal” basis. They are right there with everyone else and are not really motivated and lack the self-discipline to be their best.

Most of us are so much more capable than a “C” would indicate. Life gives us what we ask.  If we put forth a “C” effort, we get a “C” result. We are capable of at least a “B”, and maybe an “A”. It takes an A or B effort. Life has much more to offer if we will ask and expect more. The sign on the door of opportunity reads “Push”.

Challenge:  Dare to become a “non-conformist” in areas of personal growth and development. Change your priorities. Commit time and effort to molding and making a better you. Develop an ongoing “self-improvement” project. Never ever be content until you have become the person you are capable of becoming. Your life is like a world class amusement park; you have purchased the deluxe ticket; make sure you take full advantage of it.

Wisdom: Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spiritual: (NIV)

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

In God I have put my trust: I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 56:11

The world is flawed. Do not conform to this world. Anything man does without God is flawed. A Godless society is incapable of being perfect. It is and will be corrupt. The more we look to God for strength, courage, faith, and guidance, the more we can live in harmony while living in this world and grow and develop into what God designed us to be. To fulfill our destiny, we must look to God and allow Him to show us the better way.

Prayer:   Help me not to conform to this world but to become what you want me to be.

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