I recently read an article about fish losing their identity when joining a school, I just breezed through the article but it stuck with me. Yesterday while I was running I was thinking about that lonely fish, who gave up his own to join a league , who must feel so lonely now while being part of a crowd. Once I broke it down like that my mind went to the far limits to wrap it in a bow
Then I took this same thought and applied it to humans. As a society we have norms and we have non norms. As a whole we somehow come together and decide what is accepted as ‘normal’. When you act out of that norm you are dorned as strange or odd. Where do these social norms come from? Some PTA mom, a Mormon, a closed minded individual defiled of their livelihood? Or maybe law and order keeps us in line with what is accepted.
When I was living in New York City I’d pass by a homeless person in the subway or on the street preaching about things my young mind couldn’t understand, I’d put it away in a crazy homeless man file in the brain. I knew he was withdrawn from society from whatever means and that is why he was talking to himself or to the people he saw or heard, in the manner he was. To him, the words made perfect sense. To him, the fact that we couldn’t see his point was fucked up.
There are many people who choose to leave society and live off the grid. Many years ago I read a story about a man who built a hut in the woods and lived alone for 20 years. His view on life was vastly different from the view I held. When he was found the people of the community were outraged. They looked at him as some kind of monster who crept in the night. He said he did this because he was tired of living a mundane life of bills and appointments.
As humans we are designed to flock together for survival. As a species we thrive together when we are sharing information and communicating basic needs. But if we are left to our own we can survive. It’s been done in the past. When left alone the human mind will create a world of it’s own. To a being this is a world they have created, a world in which they are the makers. Whether mental illness or some higher level of knowledge is there and can’t be understood is anyone’s option and could be argued from both sides.
If humans follow a pattern of a leader then that one person got their ideas from somewhere. One idea is put forward in a crowd and it’s applied or dissolved. That idea is crafted in the mind of one person and then said aloud for others to absorb. If the idea is insensible it is pushed aside and forgotten. If you are alone within yourself to live out every thought without feed back the mind can take you to places that a normal society would not allow. Does this make those ideas strange? The wheel was thought of by one person.
To a man living in the woods for 20 years an iPhone would look pretty strange. But to everyone walking around with their phone attached to their palm they wouldn’t understand how someone could be without it. The norm today is having a cell phone or a smart phone
So do humans lose their identity when they participate within a society? As a species we tend to stick together for survival. Collaboration has done wonders for human kind. It has stemmed some of the most important inventions, like the phone, computer, internet. Communication has been imperative to our advancement. If we are left to figure it out alone, come to conclusions, it’s possible, but at what cost?
We seem to do better as a whole. When we are with each other, ideas spark, the old saying, ‘two sets of eyes are better then one”, comes to mind. We are a pack species, we thrive in groups. Look at the evolution of human kind. If we were a singular animal we would still be pulling bugs out of the ground and scratching our hairy ass in wonder that the sun keeps coming back.