We Conform Because We Conform

Introduction


If you know nothing about Weber’s model of social class, don’t worry, I don’t remember it either. This essay was written in 1999 for the sociology course. I look at it as my photograph from twelve years ago. Why? Because writings show who you are, mirrors and photographs don’t.


I am trying to find the answer to the question “Who am I?” Everything I say and do is a reflection of me, yet it is very hard to recognize the image. I am…


There are two types of people:


1. Immediate cooperators (yes-people);

2. Immediate testers (no-people).


Choose your type:

  • Immediate cooperator.
  • Immediate tester.
See results without voting


You may conform, deviate, defy, resist or ultimately fight. I am an immediate cooperator, however, I am passive-aggressive (not good), and an implicit fighter. When provoked… it is best not to provoke me. I am against physical or any type of violence (how many types are there?), yet I am completely against unquestioned acceptance of everything or anything. No wonder I am so stuck. Between a “yes” and a “no”, there is this limbo. My personal defiance is against the advice and the paths (solutions) being suggested and thrown at me. I don’t have the answers, but I keep looking.


To conform or not to conform?


What class do I belong to? I don’t have property (I have, but strictly speaking it is not mine), I have no power and no prestige. Is there even a name for the class of property-less, powerless and prestige-less?


If there is not, should I be a trailblazer (should I put something ablaze)?


Idealists, dreamers, …


I have asked the question.


And one of the answers was:

Andy the Great :


"Start life as a conformist until you truly understand the reasoning behind conformity. It's an easier path until you're prepared for nonconformity. It's important to craft many metaphorical masks for yourself and wear them at appropriate times.


You begin life with only one mask, and if you only kept one mask your whole life, people would start hating you by the time you reached adulthood. You talk to your grandmother differently than you do a young niece of nephew. You talk to your boss differently than you talk to your close friends. There's nothing inherently wrong with that. Control your bag of masks and you'll be able to open more doors in life.”



I think this is hypocrisy. I value authenticity. Why would people hate me for being me? I think I am amazing.


“Be a curveball. Do the unexpected. Surprise people. Those are the most interesting people in life. “ Andy the Great


I don’t even know what a curveball is. I do the unexpected and I surprise people, especially myself.


Publishing this essay before the series of my new articles is just one of those surprises.


Why? Because I have never been a conformist at heart. I conform on the surface, I keep appearances more often than not, and I behave. I like harmony and consensus. It does not mean I accept the idiocies of modern society. I don’t. My questioning drives people insane. I cannot conform to the rules that don’t make sense. I don’t like mindlessness. Conformity is often nothing more than mindlessness.


I am not suggesting changing social order. I suggest to think. I don’t have the answers. I only have this “photograph” and I remember that conformity for me is one of the defining characteristics. I am in the minority. It is painful, but it is my choice.


“Nothing is more revolting than the majority; for it consists of few vigorous predecessors, of knaves who accommodate themselves, of weak people who assimilate themselves, and the mass that toddlers after them without knowing in the least what it wants.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Introduction of Amendment to Weber's Model of Social Class


The political machine works because it is united minority acting against a divided majority. (Durant)


As much as I might want to disagree with Weber's model of social class, I simply cannot. The criteria that he used to distinguish one social class from another - property, power and prestige - truly describe social stratification in the most generalized way. But his classification is applicable only when the social order is maintained. What if the social order is disturbed, society is in major turmoil, and everything in society is put upside down? Even then society does not fail to be stratified, but the criteria might change dramatically.


Society has a dominant culture with its rules and norms, as well as a certain ideology that keeps social order. Do all members of society accept their position in the social hierarchy and agree unquestioningly with current social norms and ideology? In other words, do they conform or do they deviate? Moreover, how, and to what degree, do they conform or deviate? I would like to choose this as a criterion for updating Weber's model of social class. Conformity will characterize people who accept their social ranking and the dominant ideology. Deviance will characterize people who do not accept the rules of society and are either passive deviants or active deviants.


Karl Marx saw revolution as the result of the conflict between bourgeoisie, the class of exploiters, and proletariat, the class of exploited. Yet, he admitted that the proletariat had false consciousness, that is, workers did not see themselves as being exploited, and they did not have a sense of unity. I see this as a weak point in Marx's theory. Maybe workers are not educated enough to have class consciousness other than that indoctrinated by the ruling classes or others. Generally, workers accept the existing social order. Therefore, according to my new classification, workers are conformists.


On the other hand, deviants are not necessarily being exploited, but they disagree with the existing social order. For example, Decembrists, who organized an armed revolt against czarism in Russia in 1825, were noblemen. The French freethinkers, such as Voltaire and Rousseau, did not belong to the oppressed and exploited. Savva Morozov, one of the richest Russian merchants at the beginning of the 20th century, supported Revolution financially. Thus, he was acting directly against his interests as a capitalist. And surprising as it was, Russian revolutionaries in their majority were not workers, they were raznochinetz1. They were well educated and had much better chances to move up the social ladder than workers. Yet, they chose to struggle with the existing social order, to struggle against society, its norms and values.


Whereas intelligentsia in Russia has a long history of being in opposition to the ruling elite and the current regime, the majority of intellectuals did not become revolutionaries, because they had strict moral norms against violence. They were passive deviants; that is, they pretended to conform, and took no active steps towards social change. However, there was a minority of those with no moral norms and restrictions. They became active deviants. With the use of ideological cover, made up of Marx's theory, demagogy and fine words, such as "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite", they killed and robbed, stepped over dead bodies, and stopped at nothing in order to bring about a new social order, and allegedly to make mankind happy. Finally, by fair means or foul, when the revolutionaries seized power in Russia, they started their struggle against deviants. The civil war was more devastating than any war with foreign enemies. Peasants, workers, and intelligentsia suffered equally if they did not accept the new order and new rules. In this unappeasable struggle, the revolutionaries, namely Bolsheviks, called for help from the criminals who had no ideology, but most importantly had no moral rules. This is where we see a perfect example of shared consciousness.


1 Raznochinetz - intellectual(s) not belonging to the gentry in 19th century Russia.



As we know, Bolsheviks won their struggle against active deviants and separated society into major classes: gaolers and prisoners. But did they eliminate deviance as a social phenomenon? No, certainly not. After the new social order was established, and the majority of people learned the true nature of so called socialism, they deviated in a new way. Workers only displayed conformity on the surface, but responded to the totalitarian regime with sabotage, alcoholism, pilfering, and absolute disdain for its slogans. Some of them sank as low as to Lumpenproletariat2. Sociologists would classify those people as declassed elements, but I think they are in fact deviants.


The other form of deviance is escapism. During the times of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain, those, who had a chance to go abroad, sometimes never came back. Even knowing that their families and relatives would face severe repressions from the Soviet government. Nowadays, thousands of people flee from the former Soviet Union with its capitalism "with a human face", and totally criminalized society.


2 Lumpenproletariat - declassed strata of society, beggars, vagrants, criminals, parasites, spongers <Lumpen in German - rags>


Defense? D-fence?


In my opinion, deviance or conformity is not hereditary. The social class of your parents does not predetermine whether you will conform or deviate. There are different forms of deviance. Deviance does not have to be as drastic as deviance against social order. In Canadian society, when we see members of the lowest social classes, we can say that they deviate from the social norms. Consciously or subconsciously, they display their contempt for the social norms just by looking filthy. It does not take a great deal of money or effort to brush one's hair or tie up one's shoelaces. By doing so, they convey the message: "I could not care less about your norms".



Examples of conformity are not less astonishing than that of deviance. Over a short period of time, the majority of the population in the former Soviet Union drifted from total atheism to unprecedented religiosity. Was it because the ruling elite realized that religion is a perfect instrument of control? What happened to the principles and convictions of millions? Were there any to begin with?


In conclusion, I would like to say that Weber's model of social class seems to be correct, but I think it is not complete. I came to this conclusion because of the status inconsistency phenomenon. If a theory fails to describe certain instances or to classify some interlayers of society, it suggests that the theory is not yet perfect. Probably, we should target the weak points of the Weber's model by adding more criteria for defining a social class until status inconsistency is eliminated. I suggest that conformity - deviance should be one of these criteria.


Property, Status and Prestige

© 2011 kallini2010

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Comments 22 comments

A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

No comments? Mmm, maybe others are still digesting. I've read Weber's other theories, but not too familiar with his theories regarding conformity.

Why the defiance against advice and solutions? Is it the people offering advice, or the advice suggested? Just wondered.

You should have majored in psychology and linguistics, with a minor in dance. No, minor in good dancing. There, much better.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Augustine, I was wondering where have you gone?

I thought you might have taken vacation.

Or do you work diligently on your Narcissus story?

There are a couple of reasons for publishing this essay. For the longest time I did not want to, because it talks about a model of social class that most people are not familiar with and, frankly, I don't remember much of it either. Twelve years ago!

The criteria in Weber's model make sense:

1. Property (wealth);

2. Power;

3. Prestige.

They are all from the same category, it seems. The assignment was to add another criterion and it was difficult. To improve a theory? Who am I to improve a theory of a well-known and established sociologist? However, I am pretty sure nobody from the class picked conformity - it is my own creation (I got 100% on it).

Maybe it reflects my knowledge of Russian history - people who had the money (wealth and property) also had education and were revolting against social order. Workers could not revolt properly - they did not have enough knowledge how to. It would be just senseless violence - just like children are no match for adults.

I am serious when I say that I don't know what class I belong to. But we live in a stratified society. I am not at the bottom, yet I am at the bottom.

But the point was different - when I look at this essay - what do I see? I see myself revolting against mindlessness, against conformity.

When you ask me "Can you accept it?" Actually, the question was bugging me for a long time.

No, I cannot until "it" will make sense to me. Now I became more determined to find answers. I have to. I don't reject advice just because it comes from somebody else - it would be just stupid. However, I have to "digest" it and make sure that it will work for me.

Why? I followed too many advices in my life because I did not trust myself.

And again, I was so swamped with my self-exploration that I could not finish and publish one single hub. I put the "quality bar" too high, so I thought - I will publish anything the way it is. I am not happy with it, but it is precisely the point of the exercise to get over "I am not happy with it. It is not good enough". Happy or unhappy, it is a stage.

Dance? It is a nice dream... I love tango, oh, how I love tango.

"Dreams do not have expiration date."

How is your writing?


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

I have been away for several reasons. My location where I work is closing down, so I've been working 14 hours a day stepping into different positions to support the teams to move everything to a bigger existing building. I've also been working on my Narcissus hub, I'm over half way done with it. I completely understand about releasing writing that isn't ready or good enough. My Narcissus hubs require a plot and story line that I must find funny and entertaining. I will not release until I'm happy with my work. It is vexing isn't it? To require perfection from ourselves. I can't release rubbish and stand behind it. It that means I only create one hub a year, then so be it.

This is an outstanding treatise, and now I understand why I didn't recognize it before. You have a gift, a ravenous hunger to understand why. You absorb theory and research like a sponge, and are able to articulate the material with deft. I have a degree in psychology, but I'm not as sharp or as masterful in applying the models as you are. I say this to you not to impress or make you feel better, we're already friends. I say this because you have a knack for the psychology field, and I've worked with plenty of graduate students. They were impressive, but not as impressive as you.

I can already read the inside of the jacket cover for your autobiography. Degreed as an engineer, turned to buddhism to find peace, studied psychology to dissect the mind, and studio trained in Tango to demonstrate her passion for the forbidden dance.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Augustine, this is so sweet.

I don't want to spoil the surprise, though. I might publish a few hubs one after another - there is no schedule, of course, but one is on its way (so maybe a couple of days). They are all about creativity, writing, me and ... art? Quality of art, as well. Very important.

Autobiography? You know what is funny? If I collect all the comments - it will be enough material for a book. Comments tell you more about a person that all hubs combined.

Perfectionism is also a trap and I became a victim. Or maybe a victim of wanting to maintain appearances - I am serious and respected, not a lunatic...

But in creativity, we have to let go... of high standards as well. Not permanently, but whenever needed, be like children.

So, "this amendment" - I was not happy with it as it was and especially not happy with adding my explanations. However, I decided to force myself to proceed - it was a psychological block - I had to overcome it.

I am neither perfect nor I have to be. Applies to everyone. I agree with you that when you make a decision to produce the best quality you can, that is what you should do. But I suspect that now you feel more pressure because "Narcissus" became a joint effort and there is a lot of attention. Right? Even I wonder, whether I am up to the challenge.

Sometimes pressure makes it harder to write your best. You have to know how to be relaxed and goofy and ...

I alternate between "This is it!!!" and "What the hell am I doing?"

Thank you for your compliments, Augustine, but I HONESTLY think that I am as average as it gets.

My mind operates like this and the only advantage that I have is my education and my background. In school and university, there were many classmates I envied - they seemed to learn faster and understand better.

I can say that I have aptitude with languages, analysis and I am artistic. And I do rely on other people judgment. Writing? I don't think I want or can be a writer. I figured out that it is a stage as well to get over my pain and blindness - my brain is Fantastic in its ability to block painful memories. Without memories, there is no analysis, there is no progress - only running in circles.

So, I made some conclusions (finally!!!), I have written some visions and I hope when I am done, to move on.

I wish you to have some time to yourself and good luck with your writing.

And thank you for being supportive, I appreciate it very much.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Up to the challenge to write Narcissus? Seriously? What standard has been set that would cause you to think you couldn't write an act? All I've done is take my attributes and displaced them into the Narcissus character. I have exaggerated some attributes; I am not a God. Outside of that, I just wrote what I could to develop the character and plot line. Remember, to participate you must have fun. You know how to enjoy yourself, don't you?

I cannot write as a profession. I attempted to, but my work looked manufactured; no soul, no spirit. So I write when I feel inclined, and so far it has worked for me. I write so that I can be relaxed, and dare I say, goofy. Others are more serious, and I can be if the timeis appropriate. But I prefer goofy Augustine over serious Augustine. My goofy self is more of a charmer.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Augustine, it is not a standard per se, it is the fear that in writing it is much harder to anticipate the reaction than in real life, if my writing makes me laugh, it does not mean it will make others.

Making others laugh in real life is easier because I see the effect right away and I can adjust (stop, continue, turn up the volume, turn it down, explain, et cetera). In writing, I get carried away by winds of my inspiration. I do write for myself - I am the control audience.

Besides, I have never written "acts". I will do it, but it might be something... I will see.

It is all part of my questioning, trial and error. Maybe the fact that it should be funny - often "comedy" is the hardest genre - you are trying to be funny, but if it is not, it just sounds silly/stupid.

And I am not a Narcissus. Can you imagine Narcissus with my attributes?

I have written an article "A Man of My Dreams" and I have not published it - I was not happy with it. Maybe I should - again - at least to see the reaction.

I am pretty sure you are both - serious and goofy - you sound pretty serious to me in your comments.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello kallini2010. Just got here. Sorry, I'm late. I will read this tonight. Don't want to rush.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

You can write the acts as you see fit. Maggie wrote a romantic version, nikkigurl a darker version, and me, well, you know.

I write serious comments because most of your hubs are serious, even your men are busses hub. When I joke around, I feel as if you take me seriously. If I'm not mistaken, there were only two time I made you laugh. When I got my ass kicked by a rooster, and when I got donkey kicked. Were there other times?


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

[I value authenticity + I think I am amazing + I am in the minority + I love tango] (divided by) I HONESTLY think that I am as average as it gets = 42


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I never heard of Weber or his social models. More a Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, and John Maynard Keynes person. Bolsheviks succumbed to the same thing capitalist succumbed to which is greed. They also made the mistake of trusting American politicians. Under the heading of conformity I always was amazed how much the Russian people and the American people looked alike. In photographs of families in the 50’s and 60’s around kitchen tables Americans and Russians were indistinguishable. Then late photos showed the Russians were not growing economically. The people were left behind as the money was spent on the cold war.

Your Hub travels two highways. The social order and to conform or not conform. To deviate or go with the flow. It skips along the personal level then jumps back into the Weltanschauung.

Your choice of photographs is exceptional and fit so well with the presentation. You can see that you put your heart into it. I sense this is not the Hub your were going to present but a substitute that you posted because you said you were ready.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Augustine, humour is something that is hard to convey - I do laugh all the time - if you saw me - when I am with people I laugh.

One of the guys told me that it was very hard to understand me because he never knew when I am serious and I am not. It is an alternate current.

I hope not all my hubs are THAT serious. What a disaster!

Of course, you made me smile/laugh more than two times. The answer is 42.

When we were discussing "Genghis khan" and when you said that you like to buy services "running towards you with ecstasy" even though it was rather extreme - I would not want a bunch of tigers running towards me with ecstasy.

I don't remember, but now, I will pay attention.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mike, thank you for the comment - it was funny - the equation - and the answer. (No, this is not what I was working on for the last month, but when you see what I was working on for the last month, don't fall off the chair).

The first two comments (A.A. and mine) were posted 42 hours ago (when I opened the hub);

the other pair of mine and A.A. were posted 24 hours ago.

It makes a mirror image and when will I finish writing about mirrors already?

"I am amazing" is a joke, of course.

=========================================================

This essay made me revisit my thoughts - "conformity" was always a theme in Russian literature and there is "a book" I made when I was preparing to take the final (graduation) exam in school. It was so much to remember and I was writing everything by hand, I cannot imagine how much time I spent - you should see, it is a piece of Art.

Speaking of "status inconsistencies" - we were learning about great people in novels that always stood up and sometimes died for their ideas (rebels or non-conformists at best) and were learning that those people should be ones to follow. Not the apathetic masses.

In real life, we were required to conform. Maybe I could not say what was irritating me so much then, but I guess I took literature seriously enough and I hated to conform which was just my character. So this conformity and status inconsistency does not jump from nowhere.

The rest - Americans, Russians, the psychology of people is the same. It is different culture, different history, but if the circumstances are similar, the reactions would be similar.

I realized it long time ago and I look at people just like this: people are people. There is not that much difference.

If you take a bunch of those and a bunch of these and a little bit from everywhere, we will manage to socialize ourselves into more or less cohesive group. "Co-operation" is in our genetic code, that is how humans survived and took an upper hand over animals. Co-operation. "One for all and all for one."


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mike, are you the one who is the immediate tester?

Conformity is such a vast subject that my essay seems to be too feeble...

As usual, I think about it more now after writing and publishing than before. Things come back to mind...

I am glad you liked the pictures - yes, I love images and those particular ones, especially the "fence" series.

The circular barbed wire picture had the caption "The meaning of life". And "D-fence" is just priceless, it goes well with my "personality theory".

I think the text will not have the same effect without these images, in that sense images are not created equal. I love the song as well and I love the Russian version, but for readers in America, it is pretty much the same - German, French, Polish or Russian or Spanish.

If I EVER get to the point of writing about songs - I might write about this particular one.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

I just listened to the song. I have to get better at music. I gave up music years ago, and now between you and Epi I feel I cheated myself.

Because of my background, my reading and my work as a glorified Buyer, I have what I think is a keen sense for when I hear a lie. I turn on TV, hear news, hear politicians, hear lie after lie. Immediate tester, well maybe.

What I think about conformity, and by-the-way, at the moment you are the only one that asks me to think, is that conformity comes in many packages. The package that we most easily fit into is the package of making a living. Raising our families. This is the package we all gravitate towards and it is a system of checks and balances. About who your connections are and who can do what for you and what you are willing to do for them. Much like comrade’s in wartime. ‘Who has your back’, is more important than what you know or what you can discern.

There is a saying that goes something like trust none of what you hear and half of what you see. I am somewhere in that saying.

What we both get for our trouble is the notion that we are different. In fact we are all different.

This is going to sound quite right. Let’s see now.. where did the thought go? We pour ourselves into the work of our Hubs, and from the comment section both you and A.A. strive for a perfection. Because I am very aware of my imperfections, I do not expect perfection to spring from my imperfection.

And in way of translation, I don’t, with some tiny exception, worry about the quality of my Hubs. Of course I am so much older than the two of you, and I have learned worrying is a waste of time.

And since you mention how grateful you are to receive advice, I advice going to a mirror, try on a thousand smiles, find one you like and wear it every chance you get. It is a key, an imprtant key. A lesson I never learned. You still have time.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank you, Mike.

I am aware of my imperfections and I has never been a perfectionist. The upcoming hub is precisely about being, well, not perfect.

Perfection does not exist. Yes, we are all different, but mindlessness is not a virtue. If I would not question anything and just accept... well, too late for me now.

I do smile a lot and laugh a lot. Yesterday was so funny. I went to dance (I did not want to, but I needed a break). A friend asked me what had happened to me. "You are so beautiful today. You are always beautiful, but today he are so..." He is an artist. I said "I am happy". I was going home at 1:30 am and I was the only passenger on a bus (men are buses) and after an animated conversation with a driver I left to hear "So beautiful!!!"

I was happy, I finished the article. At least one - I need to format and upload, that is all.

- Is he your boyfriend or something?

- Don't ask me these questions.

Then my Capricorn Armada came - I keep breaking up with him with regularity worth better application.

- I am so jealous. I am so jealous. I am so jealous. You should be only mine.

- I should be nobody's.

- I know you want your freedom. There is nothing I can do.

Well, it is not the freedom I want, I want happiness and I cannot tell you how ridiculous I feel going in a certain direction. I see the light now, or maybe I am deluded that I see the light and I am determined to explore it.

Writing helped a lot. 42 boyfriends as well. And HubPages - my readership (OK, I'll say 42 readers (4 + 2 = 6 sounds about right) helped me a lot.

And for that I will remain grateful forever.

I do value friendship and authenticity. There is a Russian expression "it cuts hearing" - meaning when you hear a bad sound it is sudden and painful...

Hearing lies cuts my hearing (I should look for a better expression). And music - you just listen to what you like. I am definitely not an expert in it.

What I have is courage to be ridiculous. Courage to stand up and talk to a crowd and say "This is ridiculous! Your conformity is ridiculous. It is only happening because you say nothing."


J Burgraff profile image

J Burgraff 5 years ago

I'm eating out of a bowl of pennies because I don't like to conform. They taste worse than corn flakes.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank you, Jenny, for reading. I am not a big fan of corn flakes, though. Or pennies.


LegendaryN8 profile image

LegendaryN8 5 years ago from USA

The first step in breaking free of a broken system is becoming aware that the system exists.


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank you, LegendaryN8.

Living in Canada, the only thing I have to break free of would be my own inability to accomplish things that I want. Things that I want have not been even defined yet.

If you ask me what social class do I belong to, I would not be able to tell you.

In my day-to-day life it seems irrelevant. I am not in the top echelon, that is for sure, and I don't think I will ever be there.

Do I even want it?

But conforming with all the idiotic rules and assumptions that people conform out of inertia - sometimes it seems idiotic.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Svetlana, thanks for the link to this very interesting hub of yours. I can but only say I agree all the way with you. This model of Weber is indeed in need of more criteria - and quite complicated as I can see some overlapping in certain areas. At the end of the day it would be much easier to create a total new model based on various theories.

The human mind have an urge to create order - we cannot function in chaos. But in the process we actually create boxes and there is no way we can chuck intelligent people into boxes.... or I can even chuck the word 'intelligent'. People have free spirits always on the move. A part of us belongs on one box, another part in another box, and so forth.... Models - all kinds of fixed criteria/systems is just not perfect enough to accommodate the human spirit.

Anyway, I agree all the way with you...

Back to 'freedom'.... what is 'freedom' exactly.... So easily it could be an epitome of 'chaos'.... especially in a social structure where 'order', routine, and fixed standards are essential in order to obtain/maintain harmony.

Life is very much like a symphony orchestra. For instance every instrument is free to play any tune, but not while performing a specific composition. To PERFORM music in harmony - a symphony instead of a cacophony - instruments have to produce the composed sounds....

And I can go on and on....

The question is therefor still, what is your perception of freedom and could you see yourself truly free in this life? Could you see freedom of all spirits/people according to your perception as a feasible, harmonious social structure?


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank you, Martie, for reading and leaving such a thoughtful comment. Yes, I agree, no matter how good and all-encompassing a model is (any model, the best of the best) it is still an approximation. We never fit completely. Simplification helps us understand life and operate in it, but it has no ability to fully explain or reflect the reality.

Freedom is such a philosophical concept that I have to admit I am ill equipped to tackle it.

I don't believe that we are free since we live in society, but completely on our own, we would not exist at all.

Maybe what matters the most is what kind of time people are born into and what luck they had. Just like this little girl, a genius artist... A good country, good parents, artists themselves... Is she free? Or there is a bias in her family towards painting and nothing else?

How many children with comparable gifts/talents were born before, but never had that chance to be free to become what they were born to be?

If we are hungry, we are not free, if we lack the basic necessities, we are not free, if we have to spend all our waking hours earning meager living... Being ill or disadvantaged is not freedom, it is a challenge.

That is what I think now. A month from now? Who knows? If I feel better, I might even sound more optimistic. But because I have just collided with a wall (how painful!), I was crying and thinking the darkest thoughts...

What I want, is freedom from this debilitating illness when a life seems not worth living.

Just ignore my grumpiness.

Freedom! Yes, I want FREEDOM!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Kallini, forgive me, but I can't help smiling - actually laughing - for your grumpiness and self-pity - yes - because you've collided with a wall. Damn wall! How dare it be in your way? Who UP THERE hates you so much to put a wall in your way to freedom? LOL!

Please take this reply of yours and develop it into a hub. Such a very interesting topic!

Back to work again - numbers-numbers-fricken numbers - oh, and I do love 'playing' with words so much more.....

Hugs from a lovely winters morning in South Africa @ 10:10am :}

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