# Conformity #
We are social beings and need the mutual support of other people. In order to relate to others we sometimes need to compromise our personal values and go along with their interests and ideas. We need to conform to society’s expectations to a certain degree. However it is important that we do not allow the influences of events or other people to destroy the essence of who we are. The collective needs should not necessarily dominate over private needs, desires or identity.
The desire to belong by needing to adhere to and obey customs, traditions, mores, values and aspirations of: a family; nuclear or extended, our friends, peer group, our community, region, a culture, religion, or a state, nation can demand a sacrifice of personal values.
Compliance requires that we willingly act in accordance with rules or mores of a group. That we stay or keep between the codes, lines or rules.
Totally fitting in can make you a bland and colourless individual.
The Man In The Bowler Hat #
I am the unnoticed, the unnoticable man:
The man who sat on your right in the morning train:
The man who you looked through like a windowpane:
The man who was the colour of the carriage, the colour of the mounting
Morning pipe smoke.
I am the man too busy with a living to live,
Too hurried and worried to see and smell and touch:
The man who is patient too long and obeys too much
And wishes too softly and seldom.
I am the man they call the nation’s backbone,
Who am boneless - playable catgut, pliable clay:
The Man they label Little lest one day
I dare to grow.
I am the rails on which the moment passes,
The megaphone for many words and voices:
I am the graph diagram,
I am the led, the easily-fed,
The tool, the not-quite-fool,
The uncomplaining, bound,
The dust fine-ground,
Stone-for-a-statue waveworn pebble-round
Arthur Seymour John Tessimond
W.H. Auden contributed the following poem to depict the modern pliable plastic individual:
The Unknown Citizen #
by W. H. Auden
(To JS/07 M 378
This Marble Monument
Is Erected by the State)*
He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc. Yet he wasn’t a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in a hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Instalment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace: when there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation.
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.
Asserting your Individuality: #
only dead fish swim with the current
in a forest, the trees that stand alone become the strongest.
To be nobody but yourself in a world that is doing its best ,day and night to make you like everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. e.e. cummings