Simplicity In Ones Life

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Conforming As people go through life, they are met with many challenges along the way. Perhaps one of the most difficult of these challenges is the idea of conforming to someone else's ideals. Conformity, quite simply, is doing something you dislike or disagree with in order to please someone else or a group of people. Commonly, the conformer temporally dislikes the art of conforming. Yet, in the long run, when a person conforms to someone else they discover more about themselves, which for every person is a positive accomplishment. When I was growing up, every Sunday morning my mother and father would drag me to church. As the years progressed I grew frustrated with the same routine every morning. Due to the fact that I was raised Catholic, church was not a fun endeavor for me. For some reason I always felt bored at church. Eventually my mindset was negative towards these Sunday mornings and I began to dread going Church.

The reason for my continued engagement in this activity was my mother.

My mother was also raised Catholic and was under the influence that I wanted to be raised just as she had. She never asked me if I wanted to go to church, she just always assumed I did. Even though I disliked going to church, I never told my mother because I did not want to make her upset. So for 14 years I went with her, my brother and my father to Saint Andrews Catholic Church. Yet, I still did not consider myself as conforming for my mother until I went to high school.

Due to my catholic raising, my parents saw fit to send me to a catholic private high school. At the school it was mandatory to take a theology class every year. In theology I learned more about my religion and its history. It is because of these theology classes that I found my own beliefs towards religion. I came to the conclusion that I enjoyed a more philosophical approach to religion. Instead of going to church, I enjoyed researching and figuring out Christian teaching on my own. I did not enjoy sitting in a building listening to some man talk about how I should approach spirituality. It was at this point in my life when I made the decision not to go to church.

As I drove home that day, I thought of how my mother would feel if I told her I was not going to church with her anymore. Even though I planned on worshiping God in my own way, I knew she would be very upset and would feel as if she failed in raising me as a devote catholic. So upon arriving home I decided to conform to her ways and attend church with her even though I did not wish to.

For the first couple weeks I was in Hell. I was going to a place I dreaded going to. It angered me that I would have to do something I disliked greatly in order to please my mother. After a few months I grew used to the routine and soon I did not mind going to church with my family due to the fact that I felt I was doing a good thing by going. I did mind conforming to my mother's way, but I felt better about myself knowing that she was happy.

Now that I am in college I am free to worship God in whatever way I wish without worrying about disappointing my mother. Yet, I still tell her that I attend church every Sunday just to please her. I believe it has affected my life in the same way it affected Langston Hughes' life. As he did, I acknowledged the fact that I had to conform to someone else's ways and I did not find happiness in that. I felt like I had to lie in order to be accepted and not looked down upon. For if I had told my mother I was not going to church anymore, she would have been very disappointed in me. I did, however, find satisfaction in making my decision, unlike Hughes.

There are few people who live their life and never approach the decision of conformity. Most people do things they dislike or do not believe in, in order to please or satisfy an outside party. In my case, I felt justified in committing myself to go to church with my mother. Though I did not agree with it, I have found much joy in pleasing my mother. I believe that the ordeal with church and my family has taught me a valuable life lesson: "conformity is a vital skill needed in order to become an adult and live a happy life amongst others."