Do Not Conform

While it’s completely normal to fear the unknown, there is an unlikely source who we should take notes from – the “bad boys” (and girls) of popular culture.

By bad boys, I don’t mean those who are morally corrupt, like murderers and politicians.

I’m talking about the rebels and outlaws who deviate from the norm and set new standards, like Elvis Presley with rock ‘n’ roll or Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism.

I’m talking about the technological innovators, like Steve Jobs and other entrepreneurs who put it all out on the line regardless of what people say or think.

“They go where no one else has dared, risking society’s rejection and the hostility of its citizens. Confidence is their fuel. Ludicrous, soaring self-confidence which gives them the ability to defy everything and everyone in the name of what they believe in,” according to the article “Why we need bad boys.”

They all set themselves up as different from their peers. We need to be selfish. We need to be confident and independent. We need to stop trying to fit in, and instead start standing out.

“One value system that gets bound with these bad boy archetypes is rugged individualism. Rugged individualism is the idea that, as an individual, if you work hard, you can make it. These guys are defiant,” California Lutheran University sociology professor Jonathan Cordero said. “They do things their own way. They’re anti-authoritarian which goes hand in hand with individuality and rugged individualism. They grab the bull by the horns and force their way through with a devil-may-care attitude.”

Sure, these people are arrogant. They are abrasive. They’re selfish and they’re just flat out rude. They stop at nothing to achieve their goals, even if that means breaking or bending the rules.

We can learn from this mentality. We need to apply these characteristics going forward, because the real world isn’t pretty. It’s not exactly nice either, to put it lightly. As “fresh meat” in the real world, we need to be assertive. We need to stand firm in our beliefs and stick with our principles.

Tate Rutland
Staff Writer