Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Human Condition


The Human Condition

Resistance to change
Being resistant to change is a bad habit that most of us are guilty of. There are many changes in our individual lives that can be easy, but there are also very many that are difficult. One prime example I can think of that relates to my attitude toward change is when I had my first roommate who was not a sibling. It is interesting to see two people reside together who come from very different family cultures with differing opinions and habits. There are many times when compromise is necessary. I found myself very resistant to change in some of the situations that required compromise on my part. I was convinced that a residence was unclean if it was untidy. This is not always the case. As a perfectionist, I found it difficult to separate the two ideas. If things were in disarray and the living room was untidy, I interpreted that to mean it was also unclean. There were often no dishes left out or empty pizza boxes sitting around. Typically it was just a coat or books left on the couch or shoes left in the hallway. These are minor issues in comparison, as they did not cause our home to be unclean. I just simply interpreted it to mean that. It took me a while to adjust from the idea that untidy meant unclean, and I was very resistant to altering my lifelong ideals. But after many months I finally adjusted to the idea that at least there was not mud in the hallway or food in the sink. Just because things were “out of place” did not mean that our home was unclean.

The Human Condition

Stereotyping
We are all guilty of stereotyping at some point or another in our lives. This is an issue that is neither well liked nor easily changed. We hear a lot in the news about racial profiling, especially since the attempted bombing incident on Christmas Day aboard an airplane flight. We all find ourselves looking at someone more closely if they appear to fit the profile of someone who has recently caused (what we perceive as) unprovoked harm or attempts to harm innocent people. The idea of stereotyping leaves many humans skeptical and afraid of someone who simply looks the part of, in this case, a terrorist. The person might be far from what is defined as a terrorist, but if they look the part they are singled out and watched very closely to see if they act out in a terroristic fashion. We have all been known to stereotype someone because of their age, sex, race, or sexual orientation. It is not a pretty part of human culture, but it does exist and thrives in common culture. It is an awful habit that each of us is obligated to actively acknowledge and work on reducing the impact it has on our opinions towards others.

The Human Condition

Conformity
Human conformity can be highly beneficial, such as standing in a line at a bank or waiting our turn at the gas pump. However, there are times when human conformity can have a negative impact on society. The first idea that comes to mind in regards to negative conformity is the mob mentality. When a large group of people get together, it is easy to see how the attitudes of a few members can spread throughout the entire group. This is generally how riots begin. If only a few members of the group begin to fight or set small fires, the attitude of the “mob mentality” spread throughout the entire group and a large riot is set into motion. This is one of those incidences where conformity is a bad habit that occurs without active thinking for most individuals involved. It is a very bad habit that most believe just “happens.”