To conform to the norm

Comments: 0

When I was a callow young adult, there were many things about human behaviour that left me puzzled. Perhaps due to the intercultural nature of my upbringing, I couldn’t understand why it was so important to quite a few people I met that I should conform to certain stereotypes. A more mature artist explained to me that human beings are naturally inclined towards standardising or categorising things.

I observed others who had gone through similar life experiences to mine and felt they were living in a sort of cultural limbo, since they were neither fish nor fowl (for want of a more delicate way of summing up their positions). I thought they could have been more assertive about being themselves. Was I being too judgemental?

Folks have created convenient silos for describing each other based on all the usual markers such as race, creed, gender, nationality, tribe, sexuality etc. Then each person has to negotiate with the world, based on the straitjackets evoked by these categories.

Another senior artist told me I would face obstacles, because of my unwillingness to fit into a neat category. In her opinion, this was the prevalent way of doing things in the UK, so it was unlikely that allowances would be made for anyone who dared to be different.

Now that I’ve been around for a while, my feeling is that each of us should be resolute in maintaining integrity. Perhaps we can all find out what we are here for, in process of doing so.

%d bloggers like this: