As adults we so quickly fall into training babies and children to be adults. I think though that they have so much to teach us if we let them.
Conformity can begin from birth in our culture. There are many benefits. Conformity gives us rules and guidelines on how should dress, behave, speak and how not to dress, behave and speak. When it works well, conformity looks neat and tidy. So all in all conformity works right?
I think there is a home for it somewhere, but I'm still working out how it fits into my life. If we don't fit into the neat tidy box of conformity (which we all experience at various points in our life if not every day!) we are considered to be weird, different, a loner, misbehaved, too quiet, too loud, mentally ill or essentially not good enough. If we do fit into the box, we spend every day putting all of our energy into keeping our place in the box. I have so many concerns on how this affects us through youth and adulthood.
I'm not gonna lie. I step into conformity myself. Sometimes I wish people would be just like me, I wish people or children would do what I tell them to and then other times I try to squeeze myself into the right type of clothes, the right groups of people and try to be the cool, calm, outgoing, in control person. These are the days I feel powerless and small no matter how successful I am at getting myself or others into that box. I believe that conformity breeds anxiety, stress, anger, depression, fear, self-hate, shame and possibly much more.
The days that I feel my best are the days that I let myself learn from the people and events in my life and surrender myself to not knowing (turns out I can't read minds or the future), creativity, play, curiosity and the gap in life. I didn't learn that from my family or my school education...I first learnt it through music, art and dance...and try to practice it in the way I play, rest and work :)