The other night, I kept thinking and thinking about what I read before going to sleep and that prompted this post. I’m still thinking about it; wondering if there is a way to answer the questions I left at the end. I want to try to answer those questions and investigate this idea of normal, because, well, we all try so hard to individualize ourselves and separate from the herd. In small ways, we are successful. We differentiate ourselves and we give ourselves labels that provide some division, some distance, from others’ identities. However, most of us still remain within the realm of normal.
Why is that?
Why do we seek to be different, even in the most innocuous ways, but, at the same time, we voluntarily stay within the bounds of unwritten rules?
Is it a comfort thing? Is it an issue of stability and security? How do we set the boundaries on what is normal and acceptable when it comes to living out our individuality within a social group? How do we balance the scales between the consistency of normal and the variability of individuality? How do we measure and compare being different with being too different? Where do these unseen boundaries, unwritten rules, and unspoken measures come from?
Those are a lot questions, so maybe you can see why I am so jumbled up. Most of these are issues I think about, and have thought about, for a long time. Even for a group of professed nonconformists to normal rules of greater society, that group has rules that are unwritten and unseen boundaries that are not to be crossed if one wishes to remain a nonconformist. So, even in their nonconformity, there is conformity; there is a standard.
There are some that say screw the rules, let’s all live our own lives, but I believe that to be too simplistic. I do, however, believe that if one tries hard enough, one can find a niche within which to socialize and find a level of comfort, really, in essence, to feel, dare I say, normal, or would it be better to replace normal with accepted?
I am sure there will be more to come concerning this strand of thought. If you have all the answers, or even just one or two, feel free to share them with me and with the few readers that grace these posts with their presence.
Very thought provoking question. Are we individuals or a collective from an objective point of view (which of course is impossible to have). From my point of view, it seems that we are social animals, so we need each other.
We might be a lot more, and as much as we may value our individuality, I can’t but think how exuberant I get when I connect with someone, just like connecting to what you have said. I thought long and hard about exactly those things. below is a link to it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts btw.
I agree. We are social animals and we need social interaction, but, at the same time, we all have individual wants and curiosities that tend to drive us in many different ways. It is something I think about a lot, and will continue to think about. I don’t know if an answer to the question exists, but it will not stop me from pondering. Thanks for your comment!
One of the questions on your post is another thing I have thought a lot about, whether or not our society can function without a central authority. I’m not quite sure I am ready to answer it, but I can say that I lean toward a negative answer.