I have always wanted to speak about this ever since i became conscious in my reasoning(s). To me, it is one thing I look as attached to my soul and yet no one talks about it. Even as i write this, i feel the wings and forces of our Ugandan society pulling me away trying to resist me from writing about it. I pray that i get courage to finally pen it down.
In life (at least as Ugandans), we walk through this world not understanding what our individual morals, beliefs and characters are, what we need and who we are. For the 22 years i have lived on earth, i have come to realize that we are born, get raised, get schooled, get employed, get married and then, die.
We “enjoy life” never stopping to ask why is life this way? Why not the other way? Let me tickle your minds to some few questions; 1. Why are you a Christian or Muslim? 2. Why does the fork have four bars? Why not three? And why even have those divisions? 3. Why were you born black? 4. Why are you even reading this in English? The above questions stem from what they call societal conditioning, a thing i have always yearned to write about and is what am writing about today. Social conditioning is a sociological process of training individuals in a society to respond in a manner generally approved by the society in general and peer groups within society. The concept is stronger than that of socialization, which simply means the process of inheriting norms, customs and ideologies.
Manifestations of social conditioning are vast, but they are generally categorized as social patterns and social structures including nationalism, education, employment, entertainment, popular culture, religion, spirituality and family life. The social structure in which an individual finds him or herself influences and can determine their social actions and responses. In our everyday life, we look at certain things but we don’t look back and ask why are things that way.
No one has never changed society without first asking why things are the way they are in society. From Wangari Maathai, to Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs and now Malala Yousafzai, they look(ed) at society and realized something wrong. The things we read, see and do, will fashion you by slowly conditioning your mind. Therefore, how does societal conditioning come about?
Right from nursery, society conditions us to think in a certain way. We are trained to look at certain people in a certain way. We are trained to do things in a certain way. The problem is, we go on with this mentality until the day we advance to the spiritual world.
For instance, if you are born in Uganda, you are most likely to be a Christian. If you are born in China, you are most likely not to have a religion. If you are born in Egypt, you are most likely to be a Muslim. Do you see the first stage conditioning? Right from the environment where you are raised? So let me ask you something. If you had been born in a different area, raised in a different area, Would you still be a Christian? Even our religious beliefs are results of conditioning. Religious conditioning is perhaps the most powerful influence for solidifying beliefs and opinions because they are often based on a perceived notion of divine and moral piety and superiority. In practice, however, it is widely recognized that, on the basis of dogmatic self-righteousness, organized religions have created a fundamental cause for conflict and war.
Currently there seems to be a growing distinction between religion and spirituality. Whereas spirituality is a personal journey of realizing our own divinity, most religions seem to be more concerned with insuring that everybody believes the same story with the same terminology and to judge and condemn those who don’t. For example the Boko Haram in West Africa and the Al Shabab terrorizing East Africa. Some other scenario. What’s wrong with a woman having sex with any guy with whom she wants? Pretty much nothing wrong about it. But you know what most girls have been conditioned to do; “To hate sex, to deny their feelings of sex, to hide those feelings, to play hard to get.” Because why? Because apparently society judges a woman who has sex without any strings attached and even labels them as a whore. So you know what society wants? Pretend you love him, play hard to get, have sex with him after sometime and make sure it seems like you were in a relationship. Wow, the conditioning doesn’t get any better. We think as group not as individuals. We are conditioned to do what everyone else is doing. We are conditioned to wear clothes that everyone else is wearing. If someone goes the other way even by mistake or as a result of leaks, we bash them, we shame. You all know the price which came when Cindy’s nudes leaked. If the society thinks in a certain way, every other person who comes afterwards will think the same way. We see people who think otherwise as crazy, as mad, as abnormal. Because Group thinking is the standard of normal. So you know what the society will say; “Buy a house, buy a car and then pile more stuff in the house, pile after stuff after stuff, buy stuff you don’t need with money you don’t have to prove a point to people who are actually also busy trying to prove a point.” So we are a scenario where people are not really happy and we are asking why? Because we are buying things we don’t actually want, but because we need to impress the group.
Social conditioning is hitting you from all directions. From; the media, society, parents, work, friends, religion, movies, music, television, advertising, billboards, radio, magazines. I can tell you that almost everything you bought while going through school or when you got a job, were not things you really needed. They are things society said you needed. You are walking through a state of hypnosis. Now that’s the point when you awaken. I will give you a scenario. Three years back, I believed that gays deserved to be treated badly. That’s what the group think was. But when I sat down and thought for myself, I didn’t find anything wrong with someone choosing to love another person if he is not being forced. Passing a law that criminalize homosexuality in scenarios where a gay defiles a young boy is justifiable and to that, i believe a death sentence is not enough for him. So when I begun to think independently, I begun ridding myself of most of the conditioning. I realized that there was nothing wrong with sluts despite what society had told me right from childhood. Because sluts and whores are the only people who understand sex is simply an act and not something to trade with either a relationship or money. Sluts understand that sex is simply sex and not a commodity you give or take. So the solution to escaping the matrix is to begin exposing yourself to things you previously didn’t expose yourself to. Recently, I read the book “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” by Robin Sharma.The best lessons i learned from it were two;
- Master Your Mind and cultivate your mind – it will blossom beyond your expectations. The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts in the inside and not the society. There are no mistakes – only lessons of which society can’t judge you.
- The secret of happiness is simple: find out what you truly love to do as a person and then direct all of your energy towards doing it even if society sees it differently.
It is after questioning everything they tell you, that you will realise what you desire as a person not what the society thinks you should be. So begin by asking yourself why am even telling you all this.
Day 4 #UgBloggers7Days