This I Believe

Steven - Palm Desert, California
Entered on May 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

There are many times on my work breaks when I just sit outside to watch and listen to the night. It amazes me to think about the progress the world has made and the time it’s had to do it. It also amazes me to think about how we have all adjusted to the changes and rules that exist in our general society. Whether its religion, trends, words, television, or a number of other things, there are always more people jumping on the “bandwagon.” It is for these reasons that I truly believe that conformity is a part of human nature.

Religion was listed first due to the fact that it is the most common form of conformity in the world. Give it a thought; for thousands of years, religious ideas have been passed on without even the slightest opposition in your own belief. It’s a very compelling thought considering how many different religions are in existence today. It’s true that most parents raise their kids having the same religious beliefs as them, and those kids will do nothing but accept it for the rest of their lives. It’s human nature for a kid to obtain the same beliefs as their parents, and I say “obtain” because it isn’t something that the kid is born with, but rather picks-up later in life. Imagine, for a second, what it might be like if there was no such thing as religion. Would people be less limited on what is socially accepted, allowing a more open-minded learning environment? Would there maybe be less conflict considering that religions couldn’t get into disputes? Who knows though, maybe religion has given us more knowledge because of its teachings. Maybe it keeps conflict levels lower because there are less people that think for themselves. It’s not easy to determine what is good or bad in religion, but in a world with so much corruption, it’s hard to believe a lot of things.

Another example of conformity is very easy to explain, mainly because I go to school every day. There are tons and tons of different trends floating around school. It’s almost like you can look around and point out people that have conformed to trends and sacrificed their tiny bit of individuality, all just to fit in. Kids following trends that are set by celebrities or other kids they look at as “cool” is just another example of human nature. I’ve tried, for the most part, to set a different style for myself, but I cannot be dishonest and say I haven’t conformed to something. Of course there are instances when we’re all influenced by someone, but there are many people that do a great job at being themselves. I think the generation I come from has been, and will be, one of the worst when it comes to free thinking.

While I sit here and talk about how people are so ignorant by following trends, I realize it’s hard for people to be individuals these days. When the television indirectly advertises what is “cool” in this world, what else are kids to do to fit in? Teenage minds are influenced so much by the entertainment industry because it’s one of the wealthiest industries we have. Obviously if they show programs that give us a vision of how celebrities live, which is very luxurious usually, kids are going to want to be like that. What kid doesn’t want to have that dream job that comes with all the money, cars, electronics, and girls they can imagine? And those same TV stations will advertise commercials that discuss being individuals.

Whether it is the entertainment industry, the schools, or the religions, they all consist of everyday conformists. As I’ve explained, there are reasons I believe we don’t have a highly free thinking society because of how everyone does the same things on a daily basis. There are many reasons why, but the main reason that I truly believe that conformity is a part of human nature is simply because – it is.