Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
Conformity, the act of "being not" genuine, obfuscates who and what you are . . . what you feel and believe . . . behind a smoke screen designed to blend with every other smoke screen out there, behind which everyone else obfuscates themselves in the name of the god of the day. Deity of fashion, industry, style, media, ad infinitum, float amorphous in the cloud where their followers congregate, piecing together in their own minds the images constructed by the conformist projections of their peers.
I chose long ago, against tremendous odds for me, to stand in clean breeze. To simply be and do according to my own conscience. Me. Fairly ordinary me. Yet, made extraordinary by virtue of that choice. Standing where wind blows, above the pockets of fog, develops strength, sight, and retrospect. The elements in turn show their faces here, and buffet, pelt, chill and scorch. Stepping down into the fog would provide some protection in those more sheltered spots where wind skims above the occupants' careful constructions; but a return to that strange half-life saps the strength built through stretches in craggy clarity, and serves only to confuse those whose company I value. They have given shelter before, and will offer again, as we all in turn care for one another--those who choose transparency.