ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Who We Are- A Paradox

Updated on February 8, 2012

Who We Are

By Tony DeLorger © 2011


I am a slave to convention, a sponge soaked with the will of conditioning, the echoed words of my mother. I sit in a restaurant with people I barely know, exchanging conversation, enacting etiquette and the values of past cultural determinations. I know how to sit, to hold and use the implements of dining, to taste the wine, comment on current issues and graciously dance to the beat of acceptance and class. But who am I, that I dance this imaginary life? All this for what; to be accepted by people I don’t know, have nothing in common with beyond the precept of adherence to a code of etiquette?

Have you ever wondered what life would be like in complete honesty? Imagine a world without the divisions of class and cultural acceptance. How we form relationships is firstly based on being able to relate, having similar backgrounds, education and the conventions that have been passed down by firstly our parents and ultimately set by our perceived status in society. How we talk, act and relate places us in a system. This system then determines who we befriend, and eventually who we marry. We then propagate the system, the values and conventions.

This dance, this orchestrated behaviour is considered normal and in one perspective a sensible approach to getting on in the world and finding a comfortable place in which to live your life. In another perspective, it is a system that becomes all important and that can lose a person to the conventions that were initially designed for assimilation and success. Some people get so immersed in this system they lose all consciousness, and lose themselves to the rules of convention rather than enjoying life for whom they are.

The sad part of this realisation is that most of humanity is living in this way. I’m not for one moment suggesting that social conventions be dispensed with, but to be true to ourselves and realise our dreams, we must move beyond it.

The Ghandis’ and Nelson Mandelas’ of this world have done this, their truth far beyond the concepts of convention, class, colour or creed. These men have eclipsed what we understand as success by not being restricted by anything and following their beliefs. Conventions then seem rather unimportant and in a way demeaning.

Human beings have endless potential, and when there is no pretence, no striving to impress, manipulate or advantage, there can be true communication, from the heart of us. If we can go beyond these behavioural conditionings, we will find who we are, without veil and at the essence.

Honesty, no just with other people but with ourselves, is paramount. It is so easy to become lost in our conditioning, shrouding who we are and presenting a manufactured expectation of a person, for acceptance. I think it much better to be accepted for whom we are rather than for how we can act.

I am tired of all the games, the pretence of fitting in. I wish only to celebrate who I am and if that doesn’t fit into some preconception of acceptance, then I will surely become a hermit, sound in the knowledge that I am me, regardless.

The dance is what we know, what we’ve been taught. It is the part of us that is a lie, made from the will of others. We must, to find true happiness, move beyond it.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Tony DeLorger profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony DeLorger 

      7 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks for reading Diana.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 

      7 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I agree we should never try to be anyone other than ourselves.

    • Tony DeLorger profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony DeLorger 

      7 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks for your time and response flying_fish. Glad you enjoyed the piece.

    • flying_fish profile image

      flying_fish 

      7 years ago from GTA

      Pretense and conditioned values and everything never appealed to me - the difference between those who adhere to convention in their attitudes, opinions, behaviours, etc and those who adhere to their own pursuit of Truth is more a matter of responsibility than anything else: Adhering to social conventions amounts to handing over a person's fundamental responsibility for himself to society at large - leaving rejection of anything conventional as a reactionary (and equally personally-destructive) alternative. Renunciation of convention for convention's sake allows one to live freely, and the occasional coinciding with convention doesn't indicate the *following* of convention - easily leading to misunderstanding among others...

      I knew people who treated me as though I'd been born a few days before we met, because egoistic nonsense they were discovering in their lives had long ago been understood and devalued in my own - where they'd react to circumstances that threatened their "ego-ideals," (thoughtless reaction ever a hallmark of irresponsibility...) I'd simply smile, and remain unaffected, seeming to them quite naive for it!

      Staying true to oneself tends to create something of a gap between one and others who blindly follow the herd, a gap easily seen clearly by one and almost entirely misperceived by others. In many social environments, the kind of honesty you describe is a lonely pursuit, but one that we all must eventually come to, too often when continuous dissatisfaction leaves no other choice.

      An Awesome hub, sir!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)