MISALIGNMENT

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The desire to fit in with those around us is innate. We want to belong, to be accepted, to be a part of a group with commonalities. To feel we are a part of something important, something vast in significance. This desire can be so great we might even give up on our authentic selves in order to fit in. While this may be true for some people, others are not so apt to conform. The desire to be an individual with unique thoughts and goals is a great enough incentive to sacrifice conformity for the sake of individuality.

Acquiescence for most people is a way of life. You give in to the demands of your job, to the extra hours your boss thrusts your way. To the whims of your friends or co-workers who want to go out for a drink after work when all you want to do is go home and relax after a trying day. We do it so we are not the one who is insubordinate. We do it for we do not wish to be the individual others look upon as a dissident, one who stands apart from the crowd. The person who, at times, is forsaken when speaking his mind.

There are not many individuals who choose singularity over compliance. We do not wish to look different, to stand out, to be judged. We do not wish to be the girl who climbs up onto the tall speakers in front of the crowded dance floor at The Mayan night club and starts dancing as if nobody is watching. So we don the grey suits, the conservative business hair, the requisite garb prescribed by society. We would rather conform than misalign to what we believe society wants us to do, to be. Fear, for some, is the motivator. For others, it might simply be due to being content with the status quo, reasoning there is no need to fix what is not broken.

It is interesting to note how the human resources departments of some companies have adapted the word "align" when responding to job applications of potential employees. Instead of stating the applicant is not qualified, the letters being sent out state the misalignment of the applicant's qualifications to the job description. Such was the case today when I received two separate emails. One company used the term "align" - in the sense my skills did not align with the position. The other company stated something regarding a lack of an "appropriate opportunity" for discussing the position as advertised.

It takes great strength and courage to stand up for your beliefs and to dare to be different. To stand up to the face of conformity. Albeit some might see this as deviating from the norms of society, others will silently applaud you and your willingness to deviate from the crowd. With age, you start to worry less what others think of you. It is a freedom unlike any other and opens your mind to a world of possibilities, but only if you can look at this misalignment as a way to free yourself from the chains of conformity.