Is it Socially Correct to Defy Expectation?

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The pressures seem to be mounting by the day to conform to the norm. Call it being “socially correct” –  Proper social mores promoted chiefly by mass media and then carried out by its loyal followers have all but stolen our deepest desire to be individuals, sovereign, and willing to toss social “correctness” out the window.  From the former ubiquitous trend of ice bucket challenges to “selfies,” whether engaging in trend setting activity or repeating words or expressions mysteriously introduced into the societal vernacular, people tend to mimic behaviors from others when the social stratosphere dictates this should be so! Despite this common pattern in our modern culture, there appears to be a mounting desire among people to express one’s individuality. But will our habituation to be socially correct usurp this impulse? And if social correctness has such a strong pull, then where does it come from?

Does it start with our parents?

Not long ago I was having a discussion with a friend who had recently dropped her young son off to college to begin his freshman year.  She had been talking about the necessity to set the expectation for her kids, “because if I don’t do it, someone else will do it for them,” she insisted.  On one level I could empathize with her adamancy to be the beacon for her children, fearing that the pull of the outside world would steer them in the wrong direction. On the other hand, something felt fundamentally out of sync with that philosophy for me.

I recall another conversation with a father who stated emphatically that his son is going to become a pro baseball player …”and that is that!”  he said with a determined expression.  Or, “My kid IS going to college.  No negotiating!” We’ve heard these proclamations countless times before.

Many parents, well-meaning as they are, may just be setting the stage for a generation of children who are wired to follow the expectations of others.  And perhaps it is in this psychological framework that makes it so easy for those who wish to control our every move to get away with it so easily.

When you ask some children what they want to be when they grow up, sadly many of the answers faithfully mimic what they’ve seen on TV and these days their answers are quite disturbing.  One child, when asked that very important question enthusiastically shouted, “I want to be a Reality TV star on the show JackAss!”  Another stated, “An NBA player.”  And yet another – “A mommy!”  She had  been watching the show Teen Mom and wanted so badly to get pregnant so she could be just like them.  She managed to do just that – at 17!

Now clearly, these are just a few examples of how some children perceive themselves and their place in the world.  On the flip side we are also seeing a revolutionary step with other young people who are standing out with new innovations, creating businesses and setting a new precedent by genuinely tapping the well-spring of the soul – defying the pattern of conforming to anyone’s expectations but their own.


Ironically, there are also those who will tell us that in order to be cool, you’ve got to “stand out.” But is this just code for socially correct?  This too undermines the soul’s purpose because in fact you are still conforming to what you’ve been told.  When you live in your natural state, you are being driven from the inside – that omnipotent spark that exists within us all.  It is in the allowing of this spark to shine that will light the way on our own individual journey.

In my book, Conscious Musings I talk about this unprecedented time in our history and how a shift can be evidenced by a sort of dichotomy of behavior.  While the copy-cat conduct of so many seems to be escalating, those who are determined to draw their own line in the sand – live by their own terms and set a standard for true creativity is also growing.  To me, this is a sure sign that we are witnessing a marked turning point in the way we live our lives.

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Alexis Brooks is a lead contributor/editor for Conscious Life News and is the host of CLN Radio's Conscious Inquiry with Alexis Brooks.

Alexis Brooks is a lead contributor/editor for Conscious Life News and is the host of CLN Radio’s Conscious Inquiry with Alexis Brooks.

Visit Alexis’ web site at: www.higherjourneys.com or visit her on her Facebook Page.

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