People need to pull away from outdated social norms and be more accepting of each other


State Hornet Staff

Perception is the axis society rotates around. Everything is based on what is “acceptable behavior,” but in practice, people are far from achieving it. 

People are supposedly equal, yet we fight amongst ourselves over racism, what constitutes marriage, gender roles, individual choices and religion. Society should not submit to limits and boundaries, instead, people must embrace change in ideas and ways of thinking.

In society, it has been said, “the sky’s the limit,” but there are still restrictions based on outdated social norms. People have not yet learned how to break away from tradition and move forward, while still holding on to important values. Be an individual and think for yourself. Do for yourself and enjoy what you have. 

Shel Silverstein wrote a poem called “Colors.”  The message is that colors are colors and nothing more. It does not define anyone, restrict or prevent people from being who they are. 

Civil engineering student Cody Rychard, finds societal norms limiting by keeping people from being who they are who they want to be.

“(Social norms) put a lot of pressure on people to be what they are supposed to be in society. They have good purposes, but they do have really bad aspects to them too. (They) force people into what others think they should be,” Rychard said. 

It is human nature to look for beauty and to hide flaws. Many of the great scholars like William Shakespeare and Mark Twain, tell people to open their eyes, but in fact we should close them because the eyes create problems our minds cannot comprehend.

We can perceive a different world just by closing our eyes. If one sees nothing and relies only on the voice, we hear the problem, but are not creating new ones. The underlying issues come from what the eyes see.  

People can voice their opinion without excusing why views cannot be changed or why people have not adopted these new approaches.  

Sienna Nguyen, pre-health science major,said people’s personality and looks can be the deciding factor when it comes to interacting with others

“If you don’t look a certain way, people will judge you,” Nguyen said.

Appearance is an important component of first and lasting impressions too. What people see initially is what they remember. Judgment has already been passed.

“People should learn to be nice,” Nguyen said. “It’s a hard concept to grasp especially as an adult because you don’t know what people are going to do to you. It can lead to narrow mindedness. It is better to keep an open mind to it.”

We are all fighting for ourselves, but we could be fighting together to combat more important issues and solve problems plaguing the world. 

Every issue we face is based on a difference of perspective, but there are so many fingers redirecting the main issue. We have lost sight of what the problem really is because what we know is based on media coverage .

Stand in front of a stranger and close your eyes. Can you describe to them what racism, marriage and religion look like without using colors to define, norms to restrict or circumstances that prevent society from conflicting with itself? 

If the eyes are closed, do issues that require eyes still exist. By changing our perception, we  allow our minds to access unseen corners of the senses. Looking at the world with one set of eyes makes it hard to move forward. It confines us to one way of thinking, but there is not just one way to think; there are many. 

Our generation can move mountains. We have the potential to shift perspective onto what happiness and community truly are. 

Close your eyes and you do not see color, gender or scripture. Rely on your thoughts to make a decision and understand that differences among us make this world a more interesting place to live.