http://lucaslshaffer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/479874_10200753314055168_2122452324_n.jpg”>I am often clearly aware of the culture that surrounds me. Whether I am in the midst of a customer’s story or if I am in a city where conformity is commonplace.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in standards. I live my life by a clear stack of them; some looser than others. But at what point do standards and compliance fail to allow for innovation and growth?
At what cost do we hold back our thoughts when they don’t conform and comply to the standards in which surround us?
Understandingly, we need a set of rules when we are learning. How could we learn if not to leverage an earlier set of rules when thinking of Math and Science. Compounding rules and learning the grammar of life are the building blocks of superior thought processes. How can you see the dynamic sea of stars and not understand there are a billion iterations of chemical compounds bursting at the seems to be something more?
I am often reminded by people that my grammar is not quite settled and is far from compliant to the MLA standard taught to all youngsters in grade school. I enjoy this argument. It’s as if they think I am uneducated. I misuse words all the time; changing order and meaning. How can you ask me to write one way when I think in another. Grammar is simply not my issue. I’ve written my own programming language that required specific syntax and rule-based systems that can be read and parsed into machine code; providing the grammar is intact…not perfect.
My issue with rule based grammar is that it is a tool for learning and should set a foundation for more creative uses of language. Just like the painter, I can put words together as long as my message is communicated effectively. Even make some words up. How do those ‘new’ words get accepted into dictionary when it is obvious they were made up to express a new thought or trend. Besides, did Picasso think that everyone would understand his paintings or was he simply disregarding compliance to previous art rules and making his own ‘surreal’ version of it. Even he had a ‘return to order’ phase that marks a gravitational pull to conformity.
What’s the real problem? Conformity is comforting. If everyone plays by the rules, then the feeling of safety is a symptom. Those who conform best become leaders of conformity. Conformity is necessary for stability; not growth. Compliance stifles innovation.
I am sure some of you are feeling uncomfortable at this moment. Some of you are realizing its ok to say that thing you wanted to say. It is so important that we not allow life theaters to institutionalize you with compliance and conformity. Seth Godin says we should make ‘art’ everyday. Even if it’s as simple as wearing flip flops.