I’ve been looking over today’s NaBloPoMo prompt for a time now. I expected inspiration to run up and head-butt me on the nose and shout at me some magic words of inspiration that I could write this post about.
No joy. Despite my being on this planet for heading to 34 years, I am unable to think of one incident when I didn’t bend to peer pressure, and I swam against the stream. This has had the rather unfortunate side-effect of making this post a rather directionless one.
With peer pressure there has to be something you’re standing for and therefore, something to be fighting against. So any incidents of peer pressure will need to have been fairly major events. There have been countless smaller, inconsequential forms of peer pressure such as still having a dessert in a restaurant despite everyone else being full and not going and out and drinking with my mates because I wanted to watch TV instead. Although these examples scarcely fits the definition of peer pressure.
There is also a certain element of my character that makes spotting peer pressure very difficult. I am obscenely resistant to change. I put these fear of change nearly entirely down to OCD. The larger the change the more stubborn I am and the more I will resist it. Would that count as not bending to peer pressure? It would fit all the requirements I suppose. Though, it is not my strength of character that resisted the peer pressure or my understanding of right and wrong, just a little switch in my brain that can’t deal with change.
Despite a hell of a lot of sci-fi’s trying to tell us that all we want to do is destroy ourselves, I think that a majority of people just want to confirm. It’s the way we measure ourselves against what we perceive to be the norm. Standing up and saying that what everyone thinks is right is actually wrong, is not something that a lot of people would want to do willingly, certainly not myself. After all there have been countless people in history who have been vilified and ostracised for doing that very thing.
I wonder if there are many people out there who can think of a time they stood up for what they believed in. I suspect that the majority of us go through our life agreeing with what we like and disagreeing with the things we don’t. Most of these events are so small and pointless in the scheme of things that they don’t warrant remembering, we either get what we want and the object of our disagreement gets changed or it doesn’t change in which case we deal and move on.
Then again, maybe none of the above is true. Maybe there are people out there swimming upstream and resisting peer pressure all over the place, and I’m the one who doesn’t have the will power or the strength of character to do anything about it, when I’m not selfishly motivated that is.
Where do you stand? Do you fight for the rights of the weak and the wronged like Superman, or stand with the ‘yes’ men and hope someone else has the courage to do what you don’t. After this, I honestly don’t know where I stand.