This topic was sparked one afternoon when I was driving past lots of young children (under 10 years old) on their way home from school. It was seeing these children dressed in their school uniforms that set me ruminating on uniforms and on uniformity, and how so many schools teach a uniform curriculum, a uniform way of thinking and of dressing. While the uniform can be 'dressed up' as instilling pride in the school and making everyone equal, it also subtly teaches the importance of conforming to a particular set of rules (ours), and it lends a sense of belonging and a distinction between 'us' and 'them'. This is the purpose of all uniforms, no matter how obvious or how subtle they are.
And with the uniform comes conformity—of thinking, of behaviour. I remember reading or hearing many years ago that most people are right-footed (i.e. when they walk, they lead with their right foot), and one of the ways the military instills obedience and conformity is by teaching recruits to lead with their left foot...left, right, left, right.
While I was having my little wander down this thought path, I found myself wondering about the ways I—and maybe you too—still conform in thinking and acting to the 'rules' set down by our families and society in general, and just how challenging it is to challenge those expectations, to leave the safety and comfort of conformity and to decide for ourselves how we think and how we act....to find out who we truly are.
And as we do, our 'uniforms' become heart centredness, kindness and compassion....and that is how we recognise and honour each other.
Greetings. A joy to meet you! May you travel well.