Conformity in Society
There are so many men these days who go to work unhappy. You won’t hear them complaining though; being a man, its best to keep the misery tucked away inside. That way we can become hollow from the inside gradually, rather than suddenly. We have to hold it together for the family, our friends, colleagues and our bosses (if we’re employed).
Some years ago I read a great little book that’s very well known in the personal development industry. Earl Nightingale had his own insurance sales company and became so successful he retired at age 35. He went on vacation and upon his return one of his managers begged him to put his inspirational words on record so that the sales team could be encouraged by Earls pearls of wisdom.
This became known as The Strangest Secret – the first spoken word message to win a Gold Record by selling over a million copies.
We live today in a golden age. This is an era that humanity has looked forward to, dreamed of, and worked toward for thousands of years. We live in the richest era that ever existed on the face of the earth… a land of abundant opportunity for everyone.
However, if you take 100 individuals who start even at the age of 25, do you have any idea what will happen to those men and women by the time they’re 65? These 100 people believe they’re going to be successful.
They are eager toward life, there is a certain sparkle in their eye, an erectness to their carriage, and life seems like a pretty interesting adventure to them. But by the time they’re 65, only one will be rich, four will be financially independent, five will still be working, and 54 will be broke — depending on others for life’s necessities.
Only five out of 100 make the grade! Why do so many fail? What has happened to the sparkle that was there when they were 25? What has become of the dreams, the hopes, the plans … and why is there such a large disparity between what these people intended to do and what they actually accomplished?
The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice … it is conformity. And there you have the reason for so many failures. Conformity — people acting like everyone else, without knowing why or where they are going.
Disconnectedness from Nature
We are part of the natural world but man has become so disconnected from it that he sees himself separate from it. In my culture as well as many other earth-based cultures, we used to educate our children by connecting them to the things that made them special and unique – to their natural talents and abilities – and to help them discover how they might use those abilities to serve.
Nowadays we are taught, raised and encouraged to conform. To get good grades, to get a high paying job, to make enough money to put food on the table and a roof over the head. Unfortunately it’s the men who suffer, as in most cases, men are the primary breadwinners. Yes, the role for men is changing, and more women are fast becoming the main breadwinners. As a result of this change, many men don’t know what their role is in their relationship, or where they fit in society.
Quite often the coping mechanism for dealing with such issues are drugs and alcohol and in some cases, suicide. Men don’t like to talk about their feelings. Not openly anyway. Many men deem spirituality feminine and not masculine, therefore it’s not often explored. Apparently the main consumers of self help, personal development, spiritual based products and services are women (around 70% in fact) yet its the men who are in need of this spiritual sustenance.
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. My intention is to encourage the horse to lap it up, don’t knock it till you try it. Nature based coaching, meditation, mindfulness – it all helps.
Nature is pleased with simplicity, and nature is no dummy – Isaac Newton