Throughout the last few weeks of class I have noticed a trend in the material we have covered: much of it has hat to do with conforming to society, having much to do with Transcendentalism. In class alone we were assigned essays to read over after learning about Romanticism and Transcendentalism, my group was assigned the essay called Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emmerson. This essay directly covered the motif of modern conformity and traced over many underlying themes of Transcendentalism.
Self Reliance made the reader realize that, what seems like, all humans spend their entire lives doing their best trying to conform to society so they do not have to draw negative attention from bullies, teachers, friends, or family. This sad reality is what makes Transcendentalism so obvious when a person chooses to display their actions reflecting the ancient way.
As stated by Emmerson~ those people who are willing to be "misunderstood" are destined for greatness. I could not have said it better. Emmerson says that the few people that are willing to be seen as "outsiders" or bending the social norms are the ones that leave their finger print on the glass of the world.
We see hundreds of thousands of students everyday displaying conformity and never stop to think that one of these people may be the next Gandhi or Muhammad because what our eye is most prone to seeing is the average girl or boy just trying to get by with out being noticed (which is totally understandable).Those Transcendentalists who are willing to step outside the box shine through the shadows of the common man.
Though written in 1982, this song is written by the band Rush and the lyrics explain how high school students have to get by day to day by conforming and trying to fit in: