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Opinions of Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Columnist: Jeremiah Mensah Appiah

Society: A system of normalised averages

In every society, people come together to agree on laws, rules, etiquettes, good behaviours, etc. ideals they believe will keep the society in order. If anyone breaks these laws or go against these systems, society provides a way of punishing them.

We do this because we believe that if we do not punish such people there will be disorder. So what society does, is that it writes the rules, codifies them and in so doing they create a system of normalised averages.

Every society has what the normal or average person should be like, what they should have, what is below or above a certain standard set for an average person.

That is why our parents will tell us to go to school, get a good education, graduate from college, get a master’s degree, get a PHD, marry at a certain age, have a certain number of children, etc.

This is because our parents grew up in a society with a system of normalised averages and they transfer what they have learnt to their children, from one generation to another.

As good as these systems are, we tend to forget that we are all different and unique; our purposes are different, our abilities are different and so is our individual assignment. Not all of us are meant to follow the same route in life but we may all end up reaching the height we individually set out to reach, if we put in the hard work and dedication needed to propel us to such destination.

If you decide to go against the rules of society, for instance; if you choose not to go to school but learn a trade or you choose not to graduate from college because you believe you have a dream that you have to give more time and attention to, you become an enemy of the society.

Breaking the laws of society will get you arrested and sent to prison and breaking the laws in prison will further get you sent into isolation. The question is, why are you sent to prison when you break the rules of society?

The answer is, removing or isolate someone who breaks the law from a broader society is a form of punishment. Human beings, by their very nature needs interaction and so to the strongest, toughest, wicked or evil person of every society, the single most powerful form of punishment is isolation.

It may even not be a physical punishment but it has the ability to break you.

Oscar Wilde, in his quote defines a dreamer as, ‘‘someone who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world’’.

Everyone who dreams of going against the norms of fitting into the average status quo gets punished by society. This is the reason why a person decides to follow his dreams and not go the route that everybody in the society takes becomes isolated, rejected and despised at the beginning.

It is also because the dreamer has seen something that all the people in his society cannot see. He goes against the grin and as a result suffers the punishment of society which is isolation; this is what makes success a lonely journey.

It takes a lot of courage to be different, it takes a lot of courage to follow your dreams and it takes a lot of courage to act outwardly, what you feel inward. Most people are scared of the isolation, in other words loneliness and so they are unable to birth out that dream that burdens them on the inside.

It is imperative to know that all men dream but not equally.Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes to make it possible, regardless of the isolation they will experience.

In spite of, all the oppositions and challenges that may come our way in our self-discovery and our quest to achieve our dreams, we must be relentless and stay focused on our goal of birthing out our dreams.

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