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April 12, 2010

WHAT'S WITH THE NON-CONFORMIST?

In every society there is "the norm", a euphemism for public order. People really are individuals. And to varying degrees they attain success. How that spells out is why there are so many books.

To define the kind of public order required in a society, given all the individuals involved, there had to be laws, rules, morals, and more. But we didn't survive as a species by always following the rules. In fact, many of us rarely act 100% lawfully. I commute a long distance... I can assure you 30% at best obey traffic laws, most speed... and many really speed past. It could be worse, in Boston they also cut you off. I grew to love Boston driving... but that's for another day.

During one of my custodian days, in NH, I had worked at this school maybe 5-6 years by then. It was a great job.

During the 9+ years employed there, it began where in this Elementary/junior HS, in 1988 we could smoke wherever. Within three years we were forced to smoke in the custodian's office, where the principle also hung out. We could smoke outside, and maybe in the teacher's lounges, I am fuzzy remembering that. A year or two later, the law was passed making it illegal to smoke on school grounds; or a set distance.

What I found most interesting was when we had school events in the evening... band concert, spelling bee, penny sale, basketball game... there was always something interesting going on, this was after hours, I worked 3-11PM.

We used to place Butt receptacles at the entrances during these events. When the law took effect, no more butt receptacles. Yet people continued to mill around outside and smoke. It was my job, unfortunately to kindly ask these people not to smoke. "Damn the law, I'll smoke if I want to smoke. It's a cigarette, not pot!" And the butts accumulated on the pavement. Typical non-conformist. These were the adults attending the events.

For a couple months we started putting the butt receptacles back out. To suit the guests. Then, eventually people conformed..

This wasn't my topic, though it's relevant..

Laws are one thing, but social mores and morals are another. It's an area of human behavior that does get researched, though I feel not nearly enough.

I can only contribute my own experiences as a non-conformist, and well all the other non-conformists I knew..

I intend to discuss the price/cost of non-conformity, also the benefits to society and the individual. We'll not go the extreme... We'll take a regular guy who's actually, early on, quite the conformist . Then, he's not.

We'll examine  "what went wrong"?

Our character was a member/employee of a large organization, a large group of people, most who treated him with respect.

He was a college custodian. There were some who saw that as a crime...

Enter, the Non-Conformist...

2 comments:

  1. I would add that many norms do not remain static and that what was considered unacceptable decades ago, is ignored or thought of as ok now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Slamdunk - tis true, but memories of past events last a lifetime.

    naveed ahmad khan - I don't have a problem with what you said, though I'm not certain of your meaning. The reason I'm deleting your comment is the link for part-time work. Please don't post links without asking first.:

    "naveed ahmad khan said... t was preeti good site then other when i visited last month
    and got good information about part time job".

    ReplyDelete