Photo by Carson Arias on Unsplash.

There are many things wrong with the world. Take a break from the busy times in your day to observe what is around you, what is actually happening. I am not talking about just the immediate things, try to dig a little deeper to understand how things function. The way we humans work, is that we choose to see what we want and not what really exists. We decide to what we want to give attention and what we wish to make progress on, to the extent that we turn our heads and look elsewhere. The truth is that we know about homelessness, the wars in the Middle East, exploitation and corruption in Africa, and discrimination because someone is a different colour — problems that lurk amongst our existence.

However, the real problem is not that these things exist but the fact that humans have the power, knowledge, resources (call it what you may) to solve these inequalities and threats but they simply do not choose to direct their energy that way. A new Lamborghini seems like a better proposition.

Society affects your actions in ways you don’t think about. A major problem with society is the fact that we conform. Simply put we follow those around us without consciously realising. “My friend thinks it is ok to litter, that means I too can litter.” Laugh at the example but almost none of us are exempted from this kind of processing in the brain that makes you conform to your friend or anyone that you direct a significant amount of attention towards. We all fall into this trap where we do something just to impress others. That’s not a bad thing (I mean we all have to mate). The vexatious part is that we don’t realise how we are conforming or that we are conforming. Fitting in is not the only reason we conform, sometimes we conform because we don’t know what to do. Ambiguous situations cause us to rely on our observations of how others act and what seems to be the norm because we think they know what they are doing. We also conform because of experts – yeah, the weather guy said it was going to be sunny.

Why am I telling you this? Remember we have all the resources to fix the problems in the world. We choose to buy clothes from companies who we know are unethical in some way, yet we decide to shop there because our favourite celebrity endorses that company. In order to solve problems we need to understand that if one person breaks the ‘norm’ others will too. This will allow us to think for ourselves and make the best choice, and though in most cases the best case will be to conform, the real way to help the world is to understand how society influences you and to not fall victim to erroneous thinking.

I have just merely touched on conformity but I encourage self-education because we should not depend too much on the school system to teach us everything. Some things come from observations and pure implicit motives, such as the need of power.

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