Over the past few months, there have been many topics on which I have wanted to write about, but because of being without something to write on, or having a topic which I thought was inadequate at the time, I haven’t written anything, till now.
I may have written on this subject before, but I can say that this is a topic very close to me.
I am an American living in Mexico, which is in itself is a trial in many ways, but not all. The main difference I have found difficult to adjust to is space. We Americans love our space! Just look at our streets – wide and long. Our freeways and turnpikes; wide and smooth. Our sidewalks; wide, smooth and typically clean; our personal space – distance. Mexico? Small, narrow, short and close (typically).
One of the things that is individualistic is nonconformity. From my point of view, the world is a place of conformity – everyone has to be alike to succeed, and most everyone I know has bought into that idea – even those who say that they’re independent.
Someone I know is constantly “annoying” me to join a religion she belongs too. I constantly refuse to do so, so the next thing I hear is, “If you don’t join my religion, I’ll never see you again”, and there is usually a slight variation to that. My reply has been, “In my journeys, I have met and befriended many people from many walks of life, and many different religions, and those who profess no religion. What all of them, as well as us have in common is, all of us have experienced “miracles” – things that have happened in our lives which we can not explain. What I have come to know is, our Creator doesn’t care about our religions, after all, religions were created by man (see the book of Genesis for reference). Man has gone to war over religion, and conformity.”
Conformity takes on many different covers/descriptions. Many think that tatoos, body-piercings, coloring your hair green, pink, red, blue, multi-colors, etc. is nonconformity. Really? How many others are doing the same thing? Why? If people are still wearing their pants below their buttocks, that’s not nonconformity, and many that I’ve spoken with don’t know why they do it, other than they know someone else doing the same, and without knowing what it means.
In the 1990’s, the “New Age Movement” hit it’s high and it seemed that there were a lot of people trying to ride that band wagon to fame and riches. Books and classes in some kind of new age science were abounding. I tried also, but not by writing a book, just from giving classes. I started out with free classes – no one attended. I charged a little and got a little; I charged more and got more (weird). When I got a packed room, I asked, “What’s the difference between this class and the class I offered for free?” Everyone who answered replied, “I don’t know, what?” My reply?
Conformity tells us that if it costs nothing, that must be its value.
Now, here in Mexico, I do two things: I teach English (P and C Advanced English), and I perform holistic therapies, which is curative, or maintenance for the mind, body and soul (La Verdadera Salud Texcoco). What makes my teaching and therapies so different? Let me explain in short form:
- In teaching English, most everyone (I don’t know everyone) here teaches with books. They teach young and old as if they’re in high school or university. They can tear a sentence apart, but holding a conversation? I teach in a combination of ways; non of us learned our native languages from a book. Perfected? Yes. We listened, watched, spoke and praticed along with making mistakes until we got it right. I do somewhat the same, except I teach the multiple meanings of words. For example, “My computer is broken, I need to fix it.” and, “Fix the picture to that wall.” or, “The bathroom is in a fixed location.” I teach in businesses, so I have to teach effectively and books don’t help a lot.
- In holistic therapies, I have met many people who have come to me saying that they have been to two to four doctors trying to get relief for a problem, only to continue suffering with the same problem(s). What I have learned is, doctors usually try to help you by attacking the problems you have, i.e., if you have a stomach ache, here is something for that problem. I on the other hand want to know what caused the problem, then solve your problem(s) from that angle. So far, I’ve had a lot of successes.
There are a lot of differences between nonconformity and rebellion and you would do well to know them, but for now, being a nonconformist means being yourself in a world which wants you to be the same because you’re easier to control. If you conform, you won’t question the difference between police and sheriff: morally correct and legally correct: what is accepted and what is correct, and so much more. I also understand that there is a certain amount of comfort in being a part of the crowd – the boat seldom gets rocked, everything is the same everyday, you’ve reached your goal and growing more isn’t anything you’re interested in… the list goes on. Well, if that’s what you want, have it. You have a role in life. For the true nonconformist, we do not hold that against you – that is you. Quite seriously, “Live well and prosper!”
If I have done nothing more than help you to think about something different, I have accomplished my goal. I am a nonconformist. I am alone, but not lonely. However, I am also a bit unique in a different way. Learn something about personality types. Here is something in video form which will teach you a bit more – for those who don’t have the time or patience to read. I am an “INTF“. This is a (short) YouTube (video) link.
Now, ask yourself again, “Who and what am I, and why?”
Whatever you do, be true to yourself.