When our teenagers dress or wear their hair differently, or choose to smoke, drink or take drugs, most of the time they do so because of the pressures of Social Conformity - peer pressure. And what do we, as adults, tell them? "Be your own person, think for yourself. You don't have to do something just because everyone else is doing it. Especially if it could possibly hurt you in the long run."
Well adults, We should take our own advice!!! Each and every one of you reading this has at some time every single day bowed to the pressures of social conformity. And you do it willingly and gladly because you have been brainwashed into believing it is best for you.
Examples of accepted social conformity:
When your baby was born, did you buy a crib for it to sleep in? Why? Some possible reasons are:
1. Everyone you know bought a crib for their baby to sleep in.
2. In the media, parents are pictured putting their babies to sleep in cribs, which promotes the idea that
----"it's what all parents do."
3. Your pediatrician advised you that it was best for your baby.
4. You have heard somewhere that if you let your baby sleep with you, they will never want to leave your bed
----and will become dependent upon you.
5. You've heard that sleeping in a crib is best for babies.
6. It's fun to decorate the nursery, and it's the American way for every family member to have their own room.
7. You don't know of any good reason not to.
8. If you let your child sleep in bed with you, you are afraid of what people will say or think.
9. You've been told its the only safe way for babies to sleep.
Every single one of these reasons above is based upon social conformity. None of these reasons is based upon your own empirical knowledge. Some authority figure in some institution, either medical, educational or spiritual, has asserted their supposed expertise and authority to make people believe that cribs are best for babies. You've probably heard it in the media or read it in a book. You've seen your friends and neighbors put their babies in cribs. You were seduced by corporate america into buying every cute baby item to decorate your nursery, even though almost every single one of them is not necessary to caring for your baby safely and effectively, and some are even dangerous. Have you done your own research to determine whether sleeping alone in a crib, or sleeping in bed with parents is the best way for your baby to sleep? You have probably just accepted that because everybody else does it this way, and many experts say its the best way, that it must be so. That is social conformity.
Click Here to read about why cribs are NOT good for your baby, and sleeping in bed next to you IS.
Have you talked to mothers or families who believe in the family bed to see why they believe in it, and whether or not they have had a good experience with it? Have you listened to your heart to see what it tells you? No, you have probably listened to experts or just been in the "go with the flow" mindset. Or, perhaps you really never gave it any serious thought because you didn't know there was another viewpoint.
My children are grown now, but we always used The Family Bed because, first of all, intuitively I always knew it was right. It felt right, and I trusted my heart. Secondly, I don't take kindly to being told that there is only ONE best way to do something, and that to be a responsible parent I must chose that ONE way. There are many different kinds of people and many different kinds of families and there is no such things as one-size-fits-all. Third, at one point we did try the sleep-in-your-crib-and-cry-it-out method. It was a disaster. So I know from personal experience, which is the ONLY thing we can use to validate whether something is right for us or not, that the crib and cry-it-out method was bad for my child, and bad for me, and the family bed was good for us. Fourth, experts usually have an unseen agenda which is why they choose one method over another. Their belief usually supports their position in society, and if they were to advise people otherwise, it would undermine their authority and make them irrelevant so that people would believe them to be unnecessary and wouldn't come to them anymore.
Now, the family bed is just ONE tiny area where social conformity has kept a time-honored cross cultural practice from being used routinely in the U.S. today. There are many others - some of which might surprise you. Some will make sense to you, and others might seem ridiculous. But stop and think about it: what good reason do you really have for doing these things? Is any of it based upon your own empirical research, or your own intuitive insight? Or are you just doing it because everybody else is?
Having a yearly medical checkup
Sleeping in a bed
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
Making your kids go to school
Having your baby in a hospital
Making a living through employment
Going to church
Having dessert last
Shaving your legs or underarms
Living in a house
Getting a college education
Using toilet tissue
Having only one or two children
Buying all your food at the store
Giving your children immunizations
Making your children do what you want them to
Grieving when someone dies
Weaning your child from the breast
Keeping your house clean
Owning a car
Sleeping and rising at regular times
Giving your baby a pacifier
Using infant formula instead of breastfeeding
Having laws enforced by a government
Paying for goods and services with money
Wearing a bra
These are just the things that immediately come to mind, but of course, there are many more. I'm sure you can think of some of your own. The point being, why let society tell you how you should live your life? Social conformity is a pressure, it's a hindrance that you don't have to live with. There is NO one best way of doing things. The Center for Unhindered Living is dedicated to giving you alternatives, information that can help you decide if you want to accept societal norms or not.
According to the results of our Conformity Poll, only 1% of those polled said that they didn't mind conforming to societal norms. Which means 99% of those polled, and by generalization all human beings, object to at least some of the societal norms that they themselves feel pressured to abide by. So if they object, why do they obey these norms?
1. Fear of legal prosecution.
2. Fear of losing family and friends.
3. Fear of being thought of as "weird"
4. Being unaware of others with the same lifestyle, and therefore having no emotional support.
5. Fear of being ostracized.
Browse through the rest of our site and find information about some of the areas of social conformity listed above. Seriously consider whether or not you truly want to conform in these areas.
The Center for Unhindered Living exists to provide support for legal social deviance, so you will know that there are others out there who have chosen the road less traveled, and found it satisfying.