Sunday, July 25, 2010

Random Thought 7/25/10

Society is structured in such a way that no matter where you live, or who you are, you are expected to conduct yourself in a certain way. Children raised in wealthy regions are expected to behave in certain manners, and other mannerisms are anticipated from people raised in impoverished areas. Similarly, in the United States a female looking at a male in the face while the two are speaking is considered normal, confident, and oftentimes even expected; whereas, in other areas of the world, like Egypt, such audacious actions are perceived quite differently. History has proven time, and time again, that even within societies perceptions of what is, and is not, appropriate alters from one generation to the next.

It is amazing to me how so much of what we do is solely because that is what is expected of us. I wonder what would be different if I wasn't expected to fulfill any kind of agenda or… typecast, for lack of a better word. Perhaps if I hadn't grown up surrounded by the dominant religious influences I did, the neighborhood I know inside out, the people I associate and associated with, and the primarily Republican state that feeds the news to us, I would have different outlook on life.

Observations of the vicinity I grew up in verifies that people dress similarly, eat alike, and even address one another in a standardized way. When I wake up in the morning it is anticipated that I will "get ready," and proceed on with myself productively. If I decide to sleep in, or alter my routine, I'm asked if I'm ill- what has gone awry. This is not an exclusive example, the same is inquired of any of you if your standardized routine is amiss.

Interestingly, people, myself included, even alter the way they behave depending on where they are, and what they are doing. There are some places I go, that I allow others to lead, delegate, and determine what is to be done. Other times I feel a desire, or sometimes even an obligation to conduct, and direct the group. It's fascinating that the entire populace regularly anticipates such variation in leadership, depending on where you are.

The community we're surrounded by revises the way most everyone dresses, speaks, and a myriad of other things. I wonder how, or if, my mannerisms would alter if I were to reside elsewhere. How many things would change if there were no external expectations from others, if you fulfilled and believed only what made you happy? For me, such queries have been a bit mind boggling! I would like to say I suppose I would be very similar to the way I am, but I don't imagine anyone can absolutely know that. I'm pretty happy with who I am. I think it will be interesting to think about this over the next couple days, and see if anything I do changes- just for curiosity's sake.

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