Persuasive Essay I believe Margaret Drabble’s statement, “Our desire to conform is greater than our respect for objective facts,” to be quite true. Throughout history, people of all ages have wanted to be accepted and belong to a group rather than look at the facts and measure what is true and false. It is very evident in our society today that not only do we want to be accepted and belong, but we also are willing to do whatever it takes, no matter what the consequences turn out to be. I agree with Drabble’s statement and believe that it is true all around the world.
If you were to step outside our society and look back at it objectively, I can assure you that you would see evidence of this. No matter what age, gender, or ethnicity, people are always going to have the desire to fit in with and belong to a certain clique or group of people. From my observations, people are willing to do almost anything if it means that they will feel like they belong somewhere, no matter what the facts are. Gang membership is an extreme, but valid, case. To be initiated into a gang, you must look beyond the facts and consequences of what could happen to you, and do whatever it takes to get in.
This could involve taking a person’s life, robbing a store, or doing other illegal things, but if it means becoming part of a “family,” as the leaders call it, or just getting the same tattoo as everyone else, then many people are willing to take the risk and do it. Today, a lot of young people brush aside the fact that they could end up facing serious criminal charges and spend the rest of their lives in jail. They seem heedless not only about the immorality of taking a life, but also about how they are ruining their own lives. They are often aware of the facts, but choose not to listen.
Gang leaders tend to manipulate the minds of those wanting to join a gang into thinking that nothing bad could happen to them if they were to become part of the “family. ” Often, only former gang members have the “street cred” to get through to potential gang members concerning what they are getting into. Any objective observer of the situation could easily point out the dire consequences, but only a limited number of people have even a small chance of deterring potential gang members. To feel part of a clique or group can be a great feeling and that is usually why we do what we do in the first place.
I am convinced that not a lot of people can really say that they have never felt this way before. We are taught at a young age to resist peer pressure and to say no, but as we grow up it gets harder and harder, especially during the teenage years when, if you do not do as everyone else does, then you will face discrimination. High school is one of the places where this happens everyday. I can say from first-hand experience that I used to be one of those people who were willing to do whatever it took in order to feel like I belonged.
Many kids are aware of the facts about what lies ahead, but just choose to ignore them because of feeling the desire to be accepted at all costs. If kids are given the option to stay at home Saturday night and study for a test or go out to a party where the most popular kids will be, most will choose the party. It does not matter that Sunday morning the chances of having a hangover and not studying for a huge test on Monday are very likely. What matters to most kids is that they want their names on the list when everyone talks on Monday about who went to the party.
Whether we, as teenagers, want to believe it or not, if there is a party, then to feel popular and accepted into the group, we will want to go. We will want to go to have fun and be with our friends, but the greater factor in our decision is that on Monday morning everyone will be talking about who went and who did not. Objective facts do not deter us. People in our society today are so obsessed with being perfect and fitting in that very few step back to realize many of us are doing things that we will someday regret.
Drabble’s statement applies to women trying to gain “the perfect figure. ” Today, the perfect shape is to be model thin, which translates to dress sizes of 00-2. Each and every day, women all around the United States starve themselves and become anorexic to fit into society’s image of how a perfect woman should look. These women believe that no one will like them if their body does not look like that of a runway model and, therefore, they do whatever it takes, no matter how serious or life threatening the consequences are.
Any objective observer could tell these women that they are morbidly thin, yet the women see themselves as overweight. Many women hear about the consequences of becoming anorexic or bulimic, but, at the end of the day, the majority still choose trying to meet societal expectations over their own health. Many would deny that they are flying in the face of objective fact, but when it comes down to it, no matter how harsh or life threatening the consequences, many people will o anything to experience the unity within a group or clique—from gang membership, to being part of the “in” crowd, to actually starving to death to match an image. We need to take a step back and realize what we are doing to ourselves and that there is more in life than just pleasing others and trying to fit in. I believe that Drabble’s statement will continue to be true unless we reach a time when everyone recognizes that we should not have to sacrifice objectivity to feel united.