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How many times have you been told that you couldn't do something or be something based on a societal norm? What do you do, do you conform to fit what others want you to be or do you do what you feel you must?

Let’s start off with an old basic societal norm of woman: "Women belong in the kitchen, seen and not heard, not the pant wearer of the household.....", do you think this view exists still today? Hell yeah it does, because even some religions have it regulated as law and expect women to be subservient to men. I used to think that this was not true, but thanks to the personal experience of my senior year in High School, I had my eyes opened. I attended a military school that had been all male for 112 years. The 113th year was the first that females were allowed in the corp. and I was apart of the 114th corp. I was told I could not play soccer with the guys, but thanks to a government technicality I was. I lettered in the sport as the only female to gain varsity status. There were many traditions that I broke hoping that in the future it could be remolded into something worthwhile. It pissed me off that I was looked at the basis of my gender being told I could not do something because of being female. Guess what not any more. I do not allow my gender to hold me back and I have the 114th corps. to thank for that. Many at first thought I had done this to spite all those that said I couldn't. I did it for those that came behind me hoping that in time change would come and that acceptance would be taken based on deeds and a persons worth other than gender biased. Has it helped? From what I have gathered somewhat, but I will truly know when I return to the school in October.

Another thing about societal norm that causes my blood to boil is the fact of stigmata’s or stereotypes. Why must we stereotype something, why can we not let it be for what it truly is? I have been stereotyped all my life as have many others. HD/ADD is the first stigma that was hung around my neck like an albatross. This stigma impacted my life in numerous ways. I tested off the scale at an early age and was slated to be advanced in school to the 5th grade, but do to my "maturity factor" I was kept in the grade I was in. What did this accomplish, ridicule, ostrasization, and sheer damn boredom on my part. I was the strange out the box thinker who caused trouble. I didn't cause trouble because I liked it I did it because I was bored, unchallenged, so like many before and after me sought out a challenge that seemed at the time worthwhile. Then later in high school was characterized as the "gay loser troublemaker" all because of my appearance and what many deemed lack of intelligence. I am the spiky tomboy girl that lives in your neighborhood; the one that everyone immediately assumes is gay because of appearance. Why some one must be characterized as something they are not, because of a societal norm. Why can that person not be who they are with everyone frowning on them constantly?

Another stigmata or stereotype that society has comes across this site all the time. Jediism is not real stop play acting like you are Jedi, George Lucas created the Jedi and we are only playing games. This could not be farther from the truth. They call us freaks and cultists, but shame on them we are none of those things at all. The pagan in me asks what would Gia (spirit of the earth), Oma (Mother Nature), or Danu (Goddess of creation) have to say to those that make these statements. I believe the answer is simple we are not coined by one single thing but coined of many. Jediism is the same, it is not coined by one man at all, but coined of many different beliefs in an all powerful Force that binds and links us together. Jediism is about taking those beliefs and channeling them into a positive change for all. I grew up a Star Wars fan, but silently within myself I knew that the Force was real and for the longest time thought I was alone in that belief, but as it would turn out came here and found many others that believed the same as I. That believed that we could make a change that we all have been crying for including that of Gia, Oma and Danu. The Force is in all of us, but we must first learn to listen. Once we listen we open up a realm of new possibilities that allow us to enact the changes that are needed. Do we as Jedi run and hide when times get rough, no we stand our ground and do what we feel is right. We take licks like anyone else for who and what we are, the Force is made up of all individual uniqueness not just one singular.

Why some one must be characterized as something they are not, because of a societal norm. Why can that person not be who they are with everyone frowning on them constantly? It is simple; society states that it is the individual person that must conform and not society. This is wrong, for is not individuality that truly makes us unique? Should society not conform to us instead? You are asking how society can conform to us or the uniqueness of individuality. ONE WORD: CHANGE. As each person changes so to must society. Without change we will stay as we are now stagnating. Discussing opportunities like we are in a damn committee meeting while allowing the opportunities go by us while we deliberate in committees. Change does not happen on its own, but by actions. The time has come to stop pussy footing around in a meeting hall and finally do in actions and deeds from what we have talked about. What one starts others will finish, it is a proven statement.

"Just watching in the sun
All of my helplessness inside
Pretending I don’t feel misplaced
It’s so much simpler to change

It’s easier to run
Replacing this pain with something more
It’s so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

It’s easier to run
(If I could change I would take back the pain I would)
(Retrace every wrong move that I made)
It’s easier to go
(If I could change I would take back the pain I would)
(Retrace every wrong move that I made I would)
(If I could stand up and take the blame I would)
(I would take all my shame to the grave) " - Linkin Park

It is time to stop running and replacing what we truly feel with simplistic means of conformity. Only through change can the future truly be the future. Take a stand and act. Be that unique individual that is in each and every one of us. Question what you have known and sometimes hold dear, for some of those things can be what is holding change back. Do not allow someone or something to take the individualism that makes us different away. Because if we do what have we accomplished: Not a damn thing.