Conforming to the masses is an ancient survival tactic. Nowadays, however, many people conform out of fear of rejection and isolation. The cost of this fear is a loss of uniqueness, individuality and authenticity.
Everyone carries prejudices of some form. Some people prejudge particular religions, and others prejudge specific clothing styles, age groups or people who have certain interests and bobbies. Understanding the psychology behind how people develop preconceived opinions is crucial for overcoming biases, discriminations and stereotyping.
The Benefits of Standardisation & Comformity
Standardisation involves producing a specific set of guidelines or requirements. Imagine if you worked for an association in which your directors or coworkers didn’t set guidelines for managing problems or tensions. Anarchy would likely unfold!
Workplaces and systems don’t organise themselves. Standardisation serves a great purpose in many aspects of society, such as in the family home, through standards and discipline.
A group of strangers from different backgrounds can rarely join together and produce excellent work without a system in place for them to follow. The standardisation and discipline established by a workplace with a unified system ensures that productive and efficient work is produced by all its employees.
Another common example of standardisation is the education system’s grading process. Despite the arguable inefficiency of the schooling system as a whole, an education system without standardised grading would be one of disunity, inequality and unfairness.
The Disadvantages of Standardisation & Comformity
Everyone wants to be known and unconditionally accepted for who they are. As history has gone on, many cultures and societies have seen a weakening of social institutions such as family, religion and politics. With this decline came a loss of standardised ways of teaching people how to live moral lives and build healthy relationships.
Many modern religions teach conformity and submission, and political leaders require the support of the masses, which they attain through promises and appeals made to those with similar ideologies to themselves.
Our society is, thus, built on a dichotomy in which people wish to be seen and treated as individuals, but simultaneously want to conform to be accepted by the status quo. This drive for social acceptance leads people to subscribe mindlessly to the promises and ideologies shouted the loudest by the most powerful and influential
Being individual, remaining unique, owning your mind and pursuing your interests demands you become acutely aware of how much standardisation you’re prepared to accept or embrace.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
People have rejected authoritarian rule for centuries, yet many people still live under its control. For thousands of years, people have protested, committed violence and even started wars in the name of freedom and social liberty. But what constitutes freedom, and how do we know when we have enough?
Does personal freedom mean that we are aware of the countless ways in we are not free and where we conform to the preferences and whims of others? Or, is freedom a continuous journey we undergo to establish standardisations for ourselves?
To become freer and express your individuality more authentically, you need to start pioneering initiatives which leave behind your ideal legacy.
You don’t want to let other people think for you for the rest of your life. Take back control of your uniqueness, reject the clan and crowd mentality, question everything they tell you and start existing in the world on your terms.