Where I come from, values such as humility and meekness are considered admirable. You do your work, take care of your own and mind your business. The uniformity of shared morals provides a sense of safety, simplicity and even freedom. There is no questioning of roles or grappling with expectations when everyone knows their place and plays their assigned position. I am grateful for this foundation. This kind of singular focus brings a certain clarity of purpose.

Still, while black and white principles might work in theory, they don’t always translate to practical application. For those who elevate the strict ideals of their given tribe above the values that underlie them, the inner turmoil of navigating life’s inevitable gray area can create serious conflict and perpetuate dysfunction for generations. It’s this kind of warped sensibility that drives the vehemently pro-life politician to arrange an abortion for his mistress. Left unchecked, the pressures of groupthink can cause us to rationalize hypocrisy in the name of morality.

When the desire to fit in overrides common sense, independent thinking gives way to blind consensus, which can show up as tension and reluctance to express any opinion that goes contrary to the crowd. This kind of mob mentality stifles creativity and suffocates individuality, which is why it’s important at some point to examine everything you think you know and establish your own rationale for what you believe. If that exploration leads you back to your origin — GREAT! At least you’ll know that your beliefs are your own.

The transition into adulthood isn’t an easy one. Navigating relationships, managing workplace politics, hitting those milestones on schedule— don’t be fooled, no one knows what they’re doing. There will be all kinds of fumbles, blunders and awkward missteps along the way. If you’re constantly wondering to yourself, “Am I doing this right?” Welcome. This is just the place for you.

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