Second Post in "tuesdays with Morrie" blog series

I just made the mistake of going to look at how this book is rated on Amazon. It has 4.5 stars, which is good, right? It shows that it's a well-loved book that over 2000 people have taken the time to review. Being the researcher, I wanted to see how many people didn't love it and what they had to say about it. Turns out, over a 100 people strongly dislike the book and have some pretty strong statements about why they dislike it.

(Did you get distracted and head over to Amazon? If you did, welcome back! If you didn't, way to stay focused!)

So what does all this have to do with today's post, the second in the series? Well, as it turns out, quite a bit!

Second Series Post: 
The inspiration for this post is a quote from page 35-36:

"...the culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We're teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it. Create your own."

The reviews on Amazon could have swayed me to read the book or not to read the book. The people who love the book strongly tout its life-changing messages. The people who hate the book equally tout the stupidity of those life-changing messages. All through life, you find people who support or judge your choices in life, just like those book reviews place positive or negative judgement on the book/author.

My argument is that the support or judgement you receive is often based on a cultural underpinning.

Some people like to go-with-the-flow and follow cultural norms. Others like to stop the flow and scream from a hill-top that everyone must STOP following the culture!!! My guess is that many of us feel torn regarding our cultural norms. We sometimes fight the culture, and we sometimes embrace the culture.

My family's experience is often that we are fighting the cultural norm. As I often say, sometimes I feel like I'm swimming upstream, all the time, because of how much we fight the cultural norm. We eat different foods. We haven't completed immunizations. We don't go to a classroom for education. We like to reuse products as much as we can. We buy things at thrift stores. We don't buy things that we don't need. We don't subscribe to cable.

To be fair, there are other areas in life that we follow the cultural norm: we bought a house; we own two a cars; we have three Apple products in our house; we like to buy our clothes at Banana Republic; etc.

When I read the list of how we don't follow the American culture perfectly, it doesn't seem like I'm doing anything all that revolutionary, but when I go about my day, sometimes I feel negatively judged like the 1-star Amazon reviews. I feel like I'm bucking the American culture by not falling in-step with it. And that can be a very tiring feeling.

When we choose to not buy a culture, we choose to take a slightly harder route in life. But, we get to be creative and find our own which is, hopefully, more rewarding despite it being harder to do.

When do you not buy into the culture? How have you created your own way of doing things?