If one picks any person on the street and asked who they are, the answer would be astounding. It will not be astounding to everyone but to those who, either by chance or intentionally, embarked on the journey of self-enquiry.
Earl Nightingale, in his book, ‘The strangest secret’, emphasises the fact that men/women simply do not think. He claims that most people are on autopilot and go about doing things without conscious intention or purpose.
He suggests that if one were to go on the street and ask most people why they go to work every morning, they may not even be able to tell why. Some may simply say that they do because that is what everyone is supposed to do.
Conformity has become so normalised, so much that when looked at critically, most of man’s actions are aimless. He or she goes about doing things simply because that is how it has always been, without question.
Amid conformity, much is lost.
Conformity robs off the world its most anticipated progress in every sense of the word. It shatters the dreams and aspirations of those who have visions the world has yet to witness and experience. It shuts down every natural inclination to one’s unique identity, talent and sucks the living out of every creative cell for innovation.
The most dangerous downside of conformity can also be trickled down to one’s own identity. That because from the get-go and upon entry into this worldly realm, before one even gets a good glimpse of awareness, everyone else has already made major decisions without their consent.
The school has decided what he or she should learn, the church has decided he or she should be a Christian, of which denomination and political parties want to add another member.
What is unfortunately incredible is that these are done without the individual’s consent.
The assumption is that the child knows nothing and hence those who are older know better, even if what they may know is outdated. The child’s innocence and opportunity to blossom into who they were naturally should have sprouted into is trashed. He/she simply becomes the propeller of the beliefs and ideologies of their forbearers.
For most though, it only goes until they start to feel like something is amiss. They realise that almost everything they found themselves in was neither by choice nor design. They start to have existential realisations and enquire about the reasons for doing what they do and getting themselves involved in.
This goes for a very limited and rare number of people though. As for the majority, they simply conform and toe the line with no question.
They undermine their natural intelligence and place all their power in the hands of the selected few. In conformity, they lose themselves and the zeal that had put a sparkle in their eyes as children. They confuse what they do with who they are. In the absence of self-knowledge and identity, what they do becomes who they are. They define themselves by social status and the roles they play.
Again, it is partly not their fault because the identity crisis is an old phenomenon. It is the side effect of the system which capitalises on ignorance so much that it can even make professions out of others misery. The identity crisis is man-made.
Deception is man’s nature that he is fascinated by setting traps for himself so he can find a reason to keep the illusion he created for himself going. It is for the same reason that he goes to church on Sunday, just to pray for that which he is going to destroy and make impossible during the week.
By Karlos TheGreat
Uncommon Sense is published every Friday in the New Era newspaper with contributions from Karlos Naimwhaka