I have met people who try so hard to conform to societal expectations. Really hard, to the point that they all kind of act and think the same way without realizing it. And I often wonder, is it because of their dire need to belong or is it because they don’t know what else to do with their own existence.

People like that tend to scare me. You can’t really tell them apart. Are they the person they claim to be and try futilely to define, or are they another cell in the body of the collective? Ironically, the more they attempt to belong to the rest of humanity, the more…robotic they come off. Their lives get lived for them, beliefs dictated for them, desires and impulses controlled. What’s more ironic, is that each of them competes in becoming the most representative item of society’s idea of The Individual. They attempt to differentiate themselves from each other by conforming even more. It’s puzzling!

The desire to belong to a pack yet at the same time, differentiate oneself from it has been nothing but a paradox to me. It must be quite an internal conflict and struggle for some, I am sure.

I wonder how true hermits lead their lives. I wish I could be inside their heads and know what they think of the rest of us.

Anyway, I think paradoxes are a wonderful thing. We try so hard to define opposites in the world and place them at the extreme ends of a scale, out of a need to distinguish, dissect and understand. Then we discover an entity, a concept or a phenomenon that embodies them both where they forever create a balance essential to its continuity. Amazing.

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