Essay Conventional and Sterile
Tuesday Nov. 07, 2000
It is my understanding that people grow up in a society of conventional and sterile ways of life. Some societies have a tendency to raise people to be similar in their way of thinking. People are educated to have the same morals, beliefs (within their own culture), and, or opportunities at an education. The ways in which these people are raised does not give a chance for independent thinking, and creativity. My idea of societies being “Conventional and sterile,” is the way that society has influence people, from they day they were born. Society has a tendency to make people like robots, trapped from independent thought. People who often wear different clothes, and who have piercing and tattoos, often stand out from the rest of society. Older generations may frown upon these ways of “expression,” simply because they were taught to think conservatively from the time they were born. I agree with the statement, “From childhood upwards, everything is done to make minds of men and women conventional and sterile.”
From the time everyone starts school, children are put into grades were everyone is at the same level of learning, and with people of the same age. “The state is justified in insisting that children shall be educated” (Essay- Thought and Style, p.141). Russell explains that society’s beliefs linger on the idea that education is important. Children are expected to get good grades by every parent and a child who do not do well in school, is seen as one who may not succeed in the future. This relates to the idea that many people in our society are rased on the same morals, and beliefs. In education, many students feel as though they are becoming sterile. They are unable to express themselves, and there are too many boundaries that do not allow them to be creative. One time I heard a teacher say, “Stick to the guidelines, and nothing too fancy.” This implies that people grow up having their minds conventional and sterile.
People who share the same religious beliefs are taught the same concepts, and grow up believing certain ideas. As mentioned by Bertrand Russell, “Any questioning of the received opinion arouses hostility,” (Essay- Thought and Style, p.140). Russell is referring to the idea of the Church against science, how society does not like change. The Catholic Church denied great innovators such as Galilao (he came up with the idea that the earth revolves around the sun), but the Church could not accept this idea. People cannot accept new ideas because it is how they were brought up to believe. Bertrand Russell also says “interests are bound up with old beliefs” (p.141). People in India don’t eat cows because it’s against their religion. “The Thugs of India honestly believe it their duty to commit murders,” (p. 142). Suggesting that they have no morals and values upon which they were raised on. These kinds of religious, and cultural beliefs make people sterile and conventional. History dictates many great examples to offer this concept.
To obtain a good lifestyle there are several steps which one must take in order to achieve this. Education is an important commodity to society. A good education is required for a good career. This is one of the society’s methods of making people sterile, and conventional. A normal job consists of a nine to five work hours, five days a week. The term “white collar,” is often used. Lifestyle also effects people’s opinions and ideas. There are also boarders to establish the rich, middle class, and those who live in poverty. It is an assumption of mine that people believe they are unable to break a particular life cycle, this can happen within a family. If a person is poor, and their parents did not go to university, they think the same will happen to them. Society has a great influence on the way people think. The way people dress also depicts the people’s lifestyle. Fashion is a way of expression although society degrades anyone who dresses differently. Teenagers who are dressed in all black are perceived as dark and depressed. Those who dress well are considered to be smarter, and more well off than the others. Those who dress in baggy clothes are perceived by older generations to be the rebellious kind. This does not only happen with younger generations, but with all generations. A man dressed in a business suit is thought to be very successful in society. As our English class discussed the other day, young women were not allowed to wear pants, and guys were not a loud to have long hair (before the end of the 60’s). Unwritten rules created by societies allow for conventional and sterile practices. From the turn of the 21st century, the idea that “From childhood upwards, everything is done to make the minds of men and women conventional and sterile,” is still existent. Society however, is trying to emerge from these conventional practices. People do not depict those who are different but encourages it. There are fewer boundaries, a wider variety of beliefs, and more individualism. Bertrand Russell who talks about how innovators are outcasts, and society is ignorant to believe what has already been told, and taught to them. The idea that the world was round seemed ludicrous to many because they lived with the idea that the world was flat. Through generations, people pass down their ways of conventionality to their children. Implements of education, and the system which society offers still keeps ideas of conventionality and methods of sterile practices around in modern society. Although the patterns are being reduced, there are still many things that keep us from becoming a society of individualism’s and free of thought and expression.