You also know that most of us stopped responding as much to peer pressure - or perhaps stopped paying any attention to it all as we left that part of our lives behind and began our so-called 'real' lives. Fitting in forms part of belonging to a larger community, and there are laws we must abide by, written and unwritten, codes of conduct, as well as a measure of kindness and consideration. But fitting in goes so much farther. A number of recent movies depict this theme in harrowing terms: for example, Divergent & The Giver.
Perhaps you started working at a large law firm after finishing your degree. There is a dress code that generally goes far beyond "business attire" in most firms, and depending on whether the firm is based in a large or small city, that goes even further.
Perhaps you went for a career in teaching grade school children. It may be expected of you (at the particular school at which you teach) to not 'do' more than the other teachers, or to not get involved with the students beyond the boundaries of the school, even when you know that the extra tutoring, or talks you have with the parents would go a long way to helping Suzy or Johnny grow to excel.
You might be a stay-at-home mom. Freely chosen. You gave up your career - at least until the kids are in grade school - to be there for them. Now you notice that the pressure is beginning to build. Other mothers who do what you do are taking their children out to the most amazing classes - constantly. There's no down-time. If it's not language-enhancing classes, it's logic-raising classes, it's foreign-language immersion, and it's swimming. You feel as though you are running a marathon just to keep up.
A final example. Let's say you became very spiritual and started studying the matter and even moved to a community or ashram. What are the rules? What rites are you expected to follow? How are you expected to meditate? How often? How long?
My point being - of course - is that 'fitting in', so that we feel accepted and secure, isn't just about wearing certain kinds of clothes, or visiting certain restaurants or clubs, or reading certain books, having specific political ideas, and so on, but is much more pervasive. It can flow into any area of our existence, and potentially obstruct it in ways that are damaging to the soul; the spirit - or what many are calling non-local consciousness.
How well do you fit in, and what are the consequences of doing this?
Image Credit: Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney
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Books by Dr. Gabriella Kortsch
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