Conform: (v) to comply

In case you occasionally slip up and start thinking there is some sanity in the actions of our social order, let me remind you of the greatest piece of hypocrisy ever hatched in the henhouse of clucking. Here it is:

“Be yourself but follow the rules.”

It is the message of America.

Both of us–you and me–are encouraged to be creative individuals, and then are informed that the advice given is faulty.

There’s an ancient piece of philosophy which challenges us: “Be not conformed but be transformed.”

In 1962, if you were living anywhere in America, the general consensus would have been that segregation of the races was not only the norm of the day, but funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
actually proper.

In 1966, you would have been struck down as anti-American if you suggested the war in Vietnam was anything other than a bold act of patriotism.

In 1971, you would have been laughed out of the room if you had proposed that black athletes should be able to play college sports in the Southeast Conference.

In 1981, the thought of homosexuality being part of the mainstream would have brought you criticism and cost you many friends.

In 1998, you would have been totally out of step to insist that oral sex was actually sex.

In 2003, suggesting that the war in Iraq was a foolish ploy would have brought the house down on top of your head.

And as I have recently found, in this day and age suggesting that the archaic American voting system is an insult to the notion of democracy, makes me an enemy of God, America and most ingredients in the apple pie.

You can conform–as long as you’re willing to be considered foolish within twenty years.


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Authoritarian: (adj) favoring or enforcing strict obedience

There is a general misconception in the human race that to avoid being walked on by other people, you need to do a little walking yourself.dictionary with letter A

It creates a sadness in us. For after all, if you believe you’re going to lose the game it’s hard to play it with vigor.

Because when we’re walked on we lose. And of course, when we walk on other people we are also the defeated.

In the course of my life I have. at one time or another, had everyone who loves me proclaim me to be an authoritarian figure, inflexible to their needs.

Actually what I have tried to do in my life is avoid walking, and instead, develop some backbone for standing.

There are periods when the world around me decided to go crazy. Of course, it was not perceived as idiocy, but rather, was the new trend, the new patriotism, the new faith, or the new business venture.

Simply by deciding not to participate in the mania happening around me, I was perceived to be authoritarian–especially when I insisted that those of my household join me in a vigil of solitude.

I had no desire to rule or reign. I also had no desire to be pulled in twenty-five different directions by inclinations which I knew in my heart to be false. So I didn’t buy into a lot of things.

  • I didn’t join the Moral Majority in becoming anti-gay.
  • Trickle-down economics never made sense to me because it relies on rich people to suddenly become generous.
  • Even though I believe that America affords every citizen the right to choose, I cannot condone abortion as being anything but murder.
  • I stood against the war in Iraq and even wrote a musical rebuke of the notion that the seeds of freedom could be grown in that fallow soil.
  • I lived in the South and objected to streets that were named after known white supremacists.
  • And today, I will tell you that legalizing marijuana is a complete breakdown of understanding a youthful culture that has always considered it to be a gateway drug.

In the process of holding these feelings dear to my heart, I do occasionally share them humbly with those around me, hoping to win over converts to some common sense.

There are those who view this as authoritarian.

I do not want authority–I want freedom with responsibility. Because freedom without responsibility always ends up with someone hurt.

It’s rather doubtful that you will be able to live your life without someone trying to walk over the top of you. If you return in kind, the vicious walking continues.

But sometimes all of us need to make a stand and stop being affected by the tides of popularity which are trying to introduce a wave of confusion.

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