Balance Between Conformity And Resistance Balance between Conformity and Resistance According to Leon Mann, conformity means yielding to group pressures. Everyone is a a member of one group or another and everyone expects members of these groups to behave in certain ways. Fear of humiliation can lead to conformity. People agree with others because they fear being ridiculed, or being isolated from the society. They fear the idea of not being a part of the whole.
Society tries to place many regulations on us as individuals as to what is admissible and what is not. We must decide for ourselves whether to conform or not to specific rules and regulation. Conformity is an important aspect of life in our society and allows us to live a free life without the pressure of being different and being an outsider. We have to obey rules to have the good and desirable life we are hoping to achieve. If we did not pay taxes, we would not have schools and the education to make a good paycheck for a desirable living. We would not have all the comforts that make our life so much more relaxed and appealing.
If we did not have any laws, and everybody did what they think is right, we probably would not be alive anymore. Our whole society would crash and we would have killed each other by now. On the other side, comfort and stability should not stand over the suffering of others or our own misery. Sometimes we have to stand up for others and we shout not ignore our own wishes just to keep the freedom. When I came to the United States, I started working in a factory to make a living.
I did not speak much English at that time and some treated me very badly and others ignored me, like I did not even exist. For a while, nobody was there to explain or train me for my job and I messed up a lot, not knowing better. The worst part was that my feelings were very hurt because I could not understand why I was treated that way, not doing anything wrong to anybody there. Just when I was ready to quit my job, because I started getting badly depressed, a lady came up to me asking if I would like to sit next to her at break time. She said she feels awfully bad for me sitting there all by myself and she apologized for her coworkers behavior.
I still remember how everybody stared at us in the lunch room but she acted like she did not notice. The same day others came over to me starting a conversation and soon after I was accepted from most. I will never forget how much difference that lady made to me, because she stood up for a total stranger. She showed me the importance of standing up for somebody regardless of other’s beliefs. Henry David Thoreau claims in his writing He who gives himself entirely to his fellow men appears to them useless and selfish; but he who gives himself partially to them is pronounced a benefactor and philanthropist. (p.217) In order to be satisfied in our lives we have to make sacrifices.
Maybe we are making less money because we cannot conform to a company’s rules, but we are certainly more happy not having to obey rules we cannot fully accept. Often we hear people complaining about issues, but mostly they are only complaining to their families and friends. The complainer is not changing his situation with this and stays dissatisfied and makes their listener feel helpless also. My husband, who is at college for four years now, keeps complaining since the beginning from college about the out-of-class groups. Even thoug I always understood his point, he is working full time and do not have the time for it, there was nothing I could do to change it.
I only could tell him to go to the school board and let them know about his situation and they may be able to help. I believe that if he is paying for his education he should have a word on how his education is handled. It is so much more productive to pass the complaint to the source. We may be not be able to change the issue, but we know we were heard and from there we can go on to a bigger problem and may change the situation. There would be no change in our lives if we all just confirmed to rules some human being made for his own selfish reasons.
We still would have slavery, people being suppressed for their religion or just because they don’t fit into society. We have now a much better lifestyle and less fear of the system because somebody stood up for his beliefs. It often takes great courage to stand up for a principle, but if it makes a difference to anybody and if it is only for yourself, it is worth doing so. Henry David Thoreau stated in his writing It is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and if he gives his thought no longer, not to give it practically his support. (p. 218) Conformity can be important, but we should not conform to anything that is hurting or suppressing another human being.
We can keep a balance between conformity and resistance in doing right where there is wrong. There can be no freedom in conforming against our own beliefs, we only lose the respect from our self and the respect of others, and there is no freedom in resisting life’s fundamental rules. Psychology.