I was hitting some of the sites I've missed due to heavy work hours and found this follow up to the assault on the highschool student that I posted on before... (click here) .... for that Towel Road story. What hit me the most is a comment made by the school officials to this young guy: "Can't you maybe tone things down a bit? Not draw so much attention to yourself?"
In nature, conformity in packs is a survival mechanism. Maybe that's true in people, too. But, you see, if the fish, the Zebra, the Wilderbeast, etc., does not stand out, then the predator is not able to lock onto that one as a target. In the uniformity and conformity of the pack, individualism is not a recipe for survival. In fact, other fish, zebras and wilderbeast will actively distance themselves as not to be so near the target.
I guess it's only in hindsight of looking at this phenomenon that I realize how basely driven we are even still. We talk about this bully or that unfair system being a throwback, a Neanderthal, etc. And, only now do I realize how correct that analogy.
Nikki spoke of how shallow youth are, caring only about the clothes they wear. I didn't understand his comment until now. In the race to conformity, the style setters dictate survival. Being "in" ensures a lead in the group, a centering of the mass so it is the stragglers and fringe who are sought by the predators.
It is, then, in increasing awe and admiration I have for those who live as themselves and not as part of the pack. I personally am a t-shirt and jeans guy. I don't know that I'd ever be otherwise...for that matter, I own little that doesn't fit that. But, for those out there who proclaim themselves "out and proud", you have unfortunately painted yourself a target for the neanderthals. But, perhaps more, you have begun to lead in a whole new social conformity that requires either acceptance or defiance. You are winning the fight! You are creating a world in which being different is not a death sentence, but a clarion call. I am so proud of you.