Conformity -vs- Freedom
by Tracy Liebmann
This Article is in response to this readers comment/question after reading my post called Parenting Curriculum. Thanks for the great question!
Tracy, I’d love to hear more of your thoughts about dealing with external pressure to conform to outside imposed criteria, for instance in interactions with parents and others (i.e. neighbors) who may be feeling threatened by our lack of parenting curriculum.
I will start with this awesome quote from JFK…
“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” -John F. Kennedy
First of all, I congratulate anyone strong enough to go against the grain of society and follow their personal beliefs! I also know from experience that it is not always easy and you/we will come up against lots of resistance to our ideas. I’m not talking about doing anything against the law here; I’m talking about our rights as humans to dare to think for ourselves. Dare to not send your kids to school or parent without arbitrary consequences or punishments. These things do threaten some people like the reader above spoke about.
I will also turn your attention back to self…imagine that! Turn your attention back to everything is a choice, you can choose to feel uncomfortable or defensive or you can choose to live in the Joy of your choices ;-)!
How do you deal with interactions with others that do things differently than you? Possibly even totally disagreeing with what you are doing…very carefully and with grace! Start with self acceptance! We are all different individuals; we have different needs, personalities, and backgrounds. We bring our own gifts and baggage along for the ride. Yet, if we are truly accepting of self and the choices we are making, things usually have less charge. Less charge means we just accept ourselves and others for who they are and the choices we/they make without judgment!
Acceptance is an interesting thing, we usually have to start with self and then it flows out toward everyone else. That being said, people who are judging or acting as though they are the all knowing are really just reflecting their own judgment of self. Of course, usually unaware of their own lack of self acceptance. The same is true with judgment; if we judge another we are truly judging ourselves! I know I’m being a little tudy-fruity…airy-fairy here, yet if you take a moment and breathe deeply and soak it in, it really will help you to not focus on what others are thinking of you!
You are not alone; I have heard this from many people and have experienced it myself! Again what I found brought the most peace for me and my family was keeping my eye on the prize…which in this case is my belief system and living in JOY with my family! Not taking their comments personally is also VERY helpful! *TrusT* yourself first and foremost, you are the expert about your family!!
Self Acceptance, Self Acceptance, Self Acceptance, Self Acceptance!!!!!!!