There was a time when people were tyrannized by tradition. In the modern, hyper-connected world, we are tyrannized not by tradition, but by fashion. You can’t be “in” unless you are in fashion with those of the circles in which you move.
We are here not discussing “high fashion,” or even fashions in clothes. We will want to come to terms with the fact that fashions tyrannize us in all aspects of life – how we think, how we feel, what we drive, what we eat, how we choose a friend or a spouse, house or a neighborhood, the illnesses we have and the treatments we seek, and how we look in the mirror and how we comport ourselves in public.
If you’re normal, you are like a puppet, and the strings are the pushes and pulls of fashion – of the tradition of the moment. You are more likely under the yoke of the social protocols of the day than of your own private thoughts. What you say is more likely to be what “people” say in such-and-such a situation than what you really wanted to say.
This is why our current buildings look so much alike. This is why politicians sound so much alike. This is why professors think like academics and plumbers think like plumbers. This is why diet fads come and go. This is why advertisers copy each other. This is why even you may wear clothes that are in fashion, or are at least not “out” of fashion.
If you want to craft a better life for yourself, you will want to delve into this pervasive condition of our lives. If you are committed to doing life as you would have it done, you will need to understand what’s at stake.
-Lee Thayer, Thought-Leader