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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nonconformists

"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist."- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate others."- Anonymous

In the dictionary, I found two main definitions for the word, "nonconformist."

1. One who does not conform to, or refuses to be bound by, accepted beliefs, customs, or practices.

2. A person who does not conform to generally accepted patterns of behaviour or thought.

I can go along with those interpretations of that word. There is also an older meaning to nonconformist. That is: A Protestant in England who is not a member of the Church of England.

Nowadays, when you hear the title of nonconformist, you usually think of the first two definitions. At least in the U.S. you do.

I found this interpretation of what it means to be a nonconformist on Urban Dictionary and I thought it fit me well enough. I've never really put it into words how I usually roll but this was pretty accurate:

It's not that you purposely go against the norms. It's that you fail to recognize the importance rules, structures and social norms and this naturally makes an above average level of uniqueness to you. Given the lack of this pressure to conform to sociality you're given much more freedom to think and act and do. Your acts, thoughts, and ideas may appear absurd to others. Nonconformist tend to either be leaders or loners and mavericks. They are often too new and innovative for their own times. What they hate most is bureaucracy, and way too often when given a position of power they will throwaway the normal routines and traditions of the office.

I consider myself to be a nonconformist because I've never allowed fads, trends, beliefs of others to influence me enough to where I'm set in this mind locking concrete that I will follow a certain line of thinking or anything else society dwells upon. Take celebrity worship or something equally as mindless or insipid, for example. Nonconformity, to me, is more of an attitude than a purposeful unwillingness to follow, without question, a trend, a person or organization of authority or a belief.

Some claim that it is rebelliousness for the sake of rebelliousness. Nope. Sorry, my closed minded, unenlightened monkey. The majority of society thinks that the nonconformist thinks it's something that the nonconformist can throw on, like an obnoxious shirt, just so they can piss the majority off. It's not like that. It's really not a conscious decision. In truth, it's really a matter of strength of mind, independence, free will and honesty. It's just being yourself, for better or worse.
Side effects of being someone that expresses nonconformity can, but not necessarily, include some nice traits such as:

Being creative, intensely independent and individualistic... or being innovative, and trailblazing. I'm not saying I'm any of these, of course. I'm probably as innovative as a speck of dirt on a rock that lays on the side of the road. Still, others that get their jollies by taking the opposite viewpoint on this subject will say that a nonconformist is destined to be a definite loner in society, maybe an immoral individual that is thinking up ways to destroy the world, molest a chickenhawk or some other nonsense. You can't see me but I'm pressing a big red imaginary buzzer at the moment- which represents that this assumption is not only stupid but it can be dangerous- especially dangerous to the innocent person who's victim-less personal choices in life are being thought of as a sinister threat to society. Mass hysteria, anyone? Holy shit!

In truth, nonconformists come in all shapes and sizes and colors and upbringings and class room teachings and so and so on. They conform only to themselves. They are the free thinkers of our human civilization, untouched by the persuasions of a monkey see-monkey do society. All of us could benefit from some of the traits of nonconformity. The bottom line is: Without change and fresh outlooks, it's a stagnate, fearful society we will continue to have, crushing the spirits of all of us.

There now. Glad I got that out of my system. Thanks and have a happy, dandy-as-heck kind of day. Smiles, everyone, smiles!

14 comments:

THE SNEE said...

Hey Peep! You and I are apparently taking a whiff of the same air, cuz I've got peeps on my brain too...for different reasons, but still those little marshmallowy dyed little cheepers are all over the place this time of year. It calls into question not just the idea of conformism, but the the eating habits of Americans as well. Fantastic post, and a message worth savoring. Keep it up Kelly! No, I didn't mean it that way.

Annabelle said...

Well shit.

I *would* rejoice in recognition of a like spirit and day I loved this and felt that definition describes me so well...but wouldn't that be lame?

I will say, in my defense that I have found the nonconformists do run in packs, it just tends to be with others who can just as easily be alone. A motley crew of ass holes who can take you, leave you, or punch you in the throat, with all options being equal in appeal.

Erika said...

Amazingly written. I actually really found this interesting. I would absolutely LOVE to say that I'm a non-conformist. Unfortunately, I have little reason to believe that I truly am one. Yet.

Followed.

The Wolf said...

I couldn't figure out where the hell that sound was coming from when I visited I didn't realize you put a game down there. And here I thought I was losing my mind.....oh well

bazza said...

Very well expressed Kelly! I can see what we have in common now. I am not, nor ever have been, a rebel but I rarely fit into the social groups with which I am surrounded. I have plenty of friends but they think of me as an eccentric whereas I see myself as perfectly normal.
This is one of your best non-humourous posts, I think.
Finally, in the UK the non-conforming Protestant definition would still be recognised as familiar to many people.
Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Kelly said...

THE SNEE- yEAH, eASTER tIME REALLY BRINGS OUT THE pEEPS IN FULL FORCE. Sorry, forgot to turn off my caps key. :) See... it's those darn devious little marshmallowy Peeps using their mind control over me. Blast them and their plans for human takeover! Speaking of bad eating habits, you should try the new cheesy Double Decker at Taco Hell. Goes down alright but when it comes out the other end... woo boy. :)

Thanks for the compliment, Rebecca. I appreciate it. And no, hahahaha... I knew you didn't mean it THaT WAy. There I go again with the caps. Darn Peeps! Take care.

Kelly said...

Annabelle- Nah... I don't think it would be lame. Rejoice away! Declare yourself to be whoever and whatever you are. Just don't say that you're a fire hydrant. You don't wanna get whizzed on by the dogs in this world.

I like what you said: 'A motley crew of ass holes who can take you, leave you, or punch you in the throat, with all options being equal in appeal.' Sweet. That's about the gist of it, isn't it? lol. Take care, Annabelle.

Kelly said...

Erika- Thank you, Erika. I really appreciate that. I try. :) And thank you for following me. I'll be over to check out your blog, soon. Have a great weekend!

Kelly said...

The Wolf- Newsflash! You already have lost your mind. It's being kept in a jar by marshmallow Peeps. They taking over the world from the humans. And I, for one, say it's about time.

Yeah, I didn't really catch that the game was making noise last night. I think I threw it on the blog when I was tired and didn't realize it. Anyway, since I don't like things that make noise without provocation, I decided to get rid of the game. Have a dandy weekend, friend!

Kelly said...

bazza- Thank you, bazza. I'm glad to know we have this in common. That's interesting about what you say your friends' perception is of you. My friends feel the same way about me, save, for just a few. It's too bad that people tend to assume and judge rather than find out what someone is really like and respect both their differences and commonalities.

And thanks for the compliment, man. It's been something I've wanted to talk about for quite awhile now. I was wondering if that definition was still be familiar to people in the UK. I thought I'd add that bit of info to the post because I thought it was interesting. Enjoy your weekend, my "eccentric" friend. Hahahahaha... little joke there.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous Sir Tom Eagerly says:
Well now Kelly. I'm a chap who enjoys life to the fullest (perhaps even overflowing a wee bit). I come here for a good laugh and find you being serious(-ish)!
But you are a gem, sir. You have made a very good fist of this and I say "Well done that man".
If I was slightly more sober I could make a useful addition to this conversation. Possibly.
Carry on as you were soldier!

Kelly said...

Gorgeous??? Sir Tom- Hahaha. Well, I guess I'll have to take your word on that. Life to the fullest, aye? Overflowing, you say? It sounds like you may be talking about... oh... I don't know... something with a wee bit of alcohol in it. lol. Yeah, I like gettin' serious on the ol' blog once in awhile. And I thank you for saying I'm a gem and all. I consider myself a diamond in the rough at times. tee hee. Take care and have a good weekend!

LilPixi said...

Can a magazine or prestigious website publish this or something? Its own webpage paying homage to this post?

I think I teared a little. AMAZING!! But you probably knew I'd say that anyway. ;-)

Kelly said...

lilPixi- You know- I think a prestigious website or magazine should publish this. Or even, like you said, it's own webpage. This is one of my better posts, I gotta agree. I was proud of this one. I thank you for saying what you did.

And yes, I knew you would like this one. You, more than most people. That's why I really wanted you to read this post. Kindred spirits! For certain! :-)

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