In our modern day society, we have a tendency to overlook the significance of our physical and inner composition, a sublimity to which we become anti - magnanimous of our own persona. Society has it's norms; customs and traditions in which we must adhere. Our derivation of civility is being tampered with, and improper "etiquette", as one may call it, is considered a social taboo. The question at hand is this: why are we submitting to this egotistical environment, and becoming society's framework of dough?
Society as Individuals
We, as per being human, have a basic sense of obligation to meet the daily necessities to continue life. Going to work, feeding our families, and branching out another generation. Nothing comes before survival, and we always give those three necessities the most importance. Yet, in our so called "society", we seem to have lost a step on the ladder somewhere. We strive for work, and we possess the efficacy to easily meet life's necessities. Here is where standards and ethics come into play. A man can be an agricultural "farmer", and persevere to earn for his family. On the other side of the coin, a man can be a cashier at a local convenience store, and have to do significantly less work than the farmer. They both will earn the same income, and at the end of the day will be able to eat a meal. Society, on the other hand, will not be impartial to both. The cashier will always be more integrated and attached to society, as he is, in the eyes of a working man in this generation, holding a reputable occupation. Whilst the farmer works a long 12 hours a day in the scorching heat, with his legs about to collapse, he will always be classified as a "low class civilian", to whom minimal social association is to be given to. We cannot deny the fact that this occurs, as it is evident around the world. Aren't we all leaves from the same tree, and don't we all deserve to be accepted in the same way? Whether or not the farmer has sound morals and ethics, we are hasty to judge him based on his occupation and his standard of living. Farming was once the pinnacle of life, and it was how our ancestors lived and fed their families. Nowadays, anything without a tie and uniform isn't even considered to be worthy of importance, and we look down upon these "outrageous" people. If they are so outrageous, then aren't we the same? Our ancestors practiced the same lifestyle, and we tend to overlook the meaning of being a person.
Here is another perspective that as common as the air we breathe in our everyday world; two girls, both the same age, are new to a school. Let's call them Amy and Blossom. They arrive at their classes, and are both uneasy about the environment around them. They are not sure if they will make friends, and if they will be accepted. Amy, with long black hair and sparkling blue eyes, with a skinny physique and fairly well developed body, enters the classroom. She is wearing dazzling blue earrings. She is immediately given the centre stage. A few girls at the back introduce themselves, and they get to talking and invite the girl to sit next to them. She is content with the respect and playful manner of the girls. A short time later, Blossom enters the room. She's fairly chubby, and can be considered your average "Plain Jane." She has short curly hair, a type of traditional style, and old fashioned gold earrings, which appear to be handed down to her by her mother. The class turns to look at her, and start whispering about her to each other. They are appalled at her appearance, and you could hear a few chuckles in the back of the classroom. Blossom is about to cry, but holds back her tears and finds a seat at the front.
How did such a loving and friendly group of individuals become so hostile and disdained? You quite well know the answer to this question; Amy was more attractive than Blossom, hence receiving the immediate attention and acceptance into the school. Blossom, however, made no friends. She sat alone, and felt miserable at school. Both girls were equal in personality, as they were both considerate, kind, and got good grades. Society creates a divide between people, who are similar in more ways than they are unique. If one is not beautiful of physically appealing, he/she is not worthy of being a part of the community, and engaging with those who are. This may not be true in all cases, however this is present in any school you may visit the majority of the time. Is this what we as parents have taught our kids? To be judgmental and have a complete disregard for the emotions of others?
If we did not create this social divide, then how did it occur? This question can be answered by taking a look around us. We are surrounded by the influence of the media, and its superstars. They are presented as perfection, the perfect man or woman. If one does not look like them or act like them, they are no adequate, or anywhere close to being a strong part of society. When walking down the street, I doubt you see many woman that look like Megan Fox. Yet such opinion are presented in such a way in television and in movies, that our generation is taught to believe that that is how we should look and act. Singling out a type of people and saying everyone else is imperfect will obviously cause injustice in our society. Teenage girls are having horrendous diets, and feeling like crap because they do not look like someone famous. Aren't role models supposed to be those who present morality and ethics in a positive manner? Instead, we perceive role models to be the same super models. If this is perfection, then this is the end to human civility and acceptance of one another.
Society as a Group
It may be common to believe that one's personal interaction with society is the same as per being in a group of people. This is a fallacy even greater than the greatest perception, as we are not the same people when mixed in a crowd. Let us take another example of school children. A group of adolescents, in their late teens, are standing in an alley smoking a joint. A boy, Alex, takes that route home and has to pass the smokers on this day, who are his friends. He enters the alley, and is jubilant to see his friends. He walks up to them and greets them, and they start talking about how lousy school was. Out of nowhere, one of the boys, Jimmy, pulls out a cigarette. He asks Alex if he wants them, and he blatantly refused. Jimmy starts calling Alex a coward and a wimp, and so do the other boys. Alex did not want to show that he was a wimp to his friends. After much pressure from the group, Alex took the cigarette in his hands. His hands were trembling, and one of the boys pulled out a lighter and lit the cigarette. Alex put it to his mouth and was disgusted by the taste. He felt like he was going to throw up, and ran home.
Now, let us consider the situation. Alex was not a smoker. He would never pick up a cigarette, and his family had no history of it. He was a good student, and strived to become a doctor. The only reason he had smoked that day because he was peer pressured by his friends. He felt isolated amongst a group, and had no support around him. In order to feel accepted, Alex took the cigarette. Society is a paradox to what it is perceived. It is used against us in modern day than it is used in our favour. Poor Alex had to subdue to a group of people whom he didn't even see more than 2 hours a day in one class.
Here is another setting to consider: The UK government has imposed a tax of 20% on all products in the country, sparking outrage amongst the people. They take to the streets, to relieve their frustration. A large crowd soons gathers in the streets of London, and over 1000 people could be seen present. Men are shouting in protest, and demand the government to revoke this tax. Then, all of a sudden, one man, carrying a hammer and wearing a balaclava, breaks the window of a local electronics store. He floods the store, and urges the crowd to join him. Over 100 people flood the store, looting anything they can find of value. Another man from the remaining crowd starts kicking a nearby parked police vehicle, and others soon join in. They end up toppling the vehicle, and the peaceful gathering turned hostile in a hurry. That day, over 20 stores were robbed, and fires raged throughout the city. Damage was estimated at 15 million dollars.
Now, as we take a look in perspective, would these people have done what they had done if it was them alone? The police were helpless in that situation as they could not control the huge crowd, which prompted others to join in on the looting. People, seeing that others around them are engaging in such activity, do not think twice about doing the same. They believe they will suffer no consequences for their actions, and should be participating with the others. We, as individuals, would fear the consequences of doing such an action, and probably would not even do it due to finding it unethical. Again, being a part of a crowd changes the whole landscape of being a human being, as you are no longer an individual, but a mere puppet of a frenzy.
As we advance in time and reflect back on what we have done in life, we will see it is far from perfection. Yet each and every day, we strive and strive to achieve it. The fact of the matter is that perfection does not exist, as it is just an imaginary idea that has been used a basis for us as a society to divide. We cannot go back in time and change the society that we have created, but we can do one thing; we can choose to not engage in these practices of unethical standards and treat the world equally. We would all want that for each other. As the leaves begin to fall and the summers begin to rise, we are only a dream in the world of perfection.