So what’s the answer?
There is no answer. Only the question. Only the pointing out of a particular flaw in your species’ reasoning.
We say we want individuality but all the while praise conformity.
Not quite, my boy. You have individuality, yet you crave conformity. Individuality is not something you attain it’s something you possess. You are individuals. It’s part of your existence. The fact that you believe you can be human without individuality is the mistake.
The world wants conformity, you want conformity because you are fighting individuality. Though, that is perhaps not the best way of putting it. To be more precise, you are fighting a particular individuality.
Ha-ha! Oh that’s brilliant. But, again, not quite. Sometimes, yes. And how poetic, too. Crafted in the divine image you seek to craft everyone into your own image. But not what I meant. The individuality you are fighting is the individuality that recognizes itself as such and does not seek change. What you are fighting is the contented individuality.
I told you we liked individuality just fine provided it was the kind we liked. Well, the kind that you like is the kind that is not satisfied with itself. The kind that seeks change, what it calls improvement, but is only the placeholder for conformity. And that’s what the world wants. An individuality that wants to be like all others, that is willing to mold itself so, to follow the wheel grooves and not stray. An individuality that hates individuality. And do you know why?
This is about control.
Power. Yes. Because flocks are easier to control that single sheep. A person is smart, don’t they say?
But people are stupid.
Yes. But why? Because they choose to be. Because they have the individuality that is most wanted. You can’t stand any other.
So we try to control each other.
It gets worse than that. It would be easy if it were some vast conspiracy or even a part of human interaction, each will trying to conquer the other. There is something very animalistic about that. But it’s worse. The process doesn’t confine itself to everyone else’s. It’s most brutal attack, like so much else, is the subtlest.
Haven’t you ever woken up and thought you were a failure? Ever looked around at friends, family, complete strangers and thought that they had something you didn’t? Haven’t you ever stood in the sanctuary and known without a doubt that you were not as good or mature or right-minded as the person next to you? In school, you got grades. Little modes of assessment to tell you if you were farther along or not. In life, there are stages, jobs, possessions, financial securities, methods to measure your maturation. Rubrics that you create for yourself or someone created for you. Rules that are never written down, that have no power, yet mean everything. And you’re sure, convinced that everyone’s getting it but you. And even if they aren’t, you are all failing some predetermined standard. Everyday. All the time. It never stops, this judgment, this grading. You live in it; it is your life.
Don’t you see? The subtlest poison is comparison. To others or the standard, it doesn’t matter. Because that’s the secret. The individuality you’re fighting is your own.