The foundation of Individuality
The social fiber on which we exist is build up of many norms that some of us hold as true while others refute these claims. Social norms have always been a part of the American social culture. It has help people to buy more of one type of thing opposed to the other, and even the ways in which one should raise their child. Norms have sculpted this society in the past present and future. Even from the “pink flamingoes” popularity, to energy saving cars skyrocketing into demand.
We have all attached ourselves to different norms that make us who we are. Norms are believed due to the lack of our own personal knowledge and experience. If we were born with all the information we needed we would not depend on anyone.Thus we would not follow the norms that were passed down. Our parents are usually the savior or culprit behind why we believe the things we believe.Their experience in life has helped them to attach themselves to these norms and even ones taught to them by their parents as well.
Their experience has helped them to determine what is important and what is not. Even though these moral norms have been instilled by family, it is also possible that most have been reinforced due to the workings of the church’s teachings.The church has provided a basis for the social script. This social script has helped to guide people in making decision about everyday living. Things such asbeing nice to people, the way we respect our parents, and the significant instanding firm to ones beliefs.
I have always been told how to speak, think, eat, run, play, read and write. Anything you name I can probably attest to being told how to do it. One major norm that my family passed down from generations is the keen lesson in walking in your parents’ footsteps. To walk in ones parents’ footstep is the easiest way to avoid unforgiving mishaps and hurts. My dad once told me that the best way to become a better person quickly is to take notes from the person who messed up before.
This I believe is one of the most important norms of society and for me, this is important to me due to the fact that I am the first to attend college. Being the first to Attened College is not something that came easy to me, I am the youngest of three and all the mistakes and wrong moves my siblings made are the markers that guided me to this point. That is why I strongly believe that following these social norms are extremely helpful. We have all at some point become patrons of this accumulated knowledge. Some might argue that one should have total free will and complete control over his or her life, but thanks to the norms we have inherited many of us have come to make the right choices.
The debate over whether or not the norm of following what is been told, is an even bigger concept from the in herited traits that got us humans this far, the ability to reason. Because we have listened to the advices and dictation passed on from generation to generation we are able to make keen choices which allowed for great strides ahead. New ways of thinking and new ways of living, now I ask you is this so wrong? These norms are things I live by and find no fault with. The norms we live by help to protect us, for example, telling a child who cannot swim to stay away from water unattended. This norm of safety can be very well the key componentin saving this Childs life.
Another norm which I have grown accustomed to is that of treating a woman with respect. I was always told that no matter how a woman talks to you or treat you she still deserves respect. This was one ofthe social scripts that I found myself deeply attached to, mostly because I had sisters. I always thought that if I were able to give a woman respect in the manner that I was taught then hopefully it would come back to my sisters. It would come back in the sense that some other guy would treat then with the same or hopefully more respect. “Respect can go a long ways”, that’s what my father use to tell me, I never understood why until about five years ago. Respect shows people appreciation and gratitude, it makes them feel elated. Is it just about being elated? No, it’s much more than that. I believe in reciprocity and this social script has not only in my opinion returned good favor to me but hasalso help me to help others.
Respect and traditional keepings go hand in hand to me, because it has allowed me to become a better person in general. I am by no means saying that for the rest of my life I will be doing as told, at some point in everyone’s life they have to make a choice. One must make the choice rather to follow a path that has been proven good or to deviate. It is even encouraged in taking something good and making it even better. Each norm in our precious society has helped to shape who we have become and are becoming. It is through this process we find out our true identity. My experiences have not only made me grateful for the norms taught to me, but it also pushes me to become an advocate.
Norms benefits me as an individual who is now legally his own keeper, by helping me to have learned from my parents mistakes and to make my life much easier. These social scripts have helped to make living just a bit contented, if it were not for norms then there would be no order and the same things would keep reoccurring.
However, abiding by the sovereign norms of your family does not totally paint the picture of who you are. The average American follows the typical norms of society. Things such as man to woman marriage,college degree, getting a house, getting a car and the way one should talk. It is through norms that we gain our own self identity.