Human Desire to Fit In
Two common ways of handling a situation are either to do so
according to one¹s own personal needs and desires with no
specific regard to other people, or one can base a decision on
how it will be viewed by others. The vast majority of people
fall on the side of being worried about what others are saying
and thinking. Both good and bad can come from living this way,
but it has seemed to remain constant throughout history. People
have a natural desire to belong, and to fit in with a certain
group. No matter what group an individual chooses, that
individual almost always is forced sacrifice a part of
them self in order to seem more a part of things. People in this
world seem to need companionship and are often too weak to stand
alone. As a result, they stand together in what ever group they
are best suited to.
It is a point of interest to many of the people who have stopped
to think about this fact. The idea that people live according to
how others will perceive then has been established as the rule,
not the exception. The real question now lies in the reasons for
this way of life. It was hypothesized by C.S. Lewis that this
desire to belong and to fit in is a natural human characteristic.
He believed that people have an instinctive drive to belong, in
the same sort of way species reproduce. It is possible that his
theory of instinctive necessity is accurate, and humans are as a
whole are week and scared when they are faced with solitude.
The old adage ³there is safety in numbers² is appropriate in
this topic. Often in this world terrible things happen because
people group up and commit unspeakable acts, then take shelter in
the numbers of those involved. The Annual Freaknik ³celebration²
is the perfect example. Thousands of individuals crowd the
streets of Atlanta and pillage the city for a weekend, all the
while they show no respect for the laws or the residents of the
city. This can be directly related to the issue of people doing
things to be a part of the group. If these people were asked
individually why they did these terrible things, for the most
part they would respond by saying ³everyone else is doing it²².
This could be translated to ³I am just trying to be a part of
things². In this particular example those involved sacrifice
any sense of morals or upbringing that they might have had.
"Everybody is doing it". This sentence has ruined thousands of
lives. It could could be the worst four word combination in the
English language. People have been convinced to begin drug use,
drunk driving, cliff jumping, and countless other unwise
activities. The reason behind this is clear, the human necessity
to fit in and to seem cool is often to strong to compete with. A
person could have the world and all of its riches, but with out
someone to share it with, that person would be totally alone.
People need each other. This is a fact of the world, and it will
never change. This need is a natural desire that is found every
where in every person with very few exceptions. It is true that
trouble can brew and awful things can happen because of these
groups, but the advantages associated far out weigh the costs.
These groups that people form between themselves often serve as
shelter for the lonely, for this reason it is natural for
people to go far out their way if necessary to belong a
particular crowd. As a result the opinion of others is
crucial part of life.
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