Check next time you’re traveling. You’ll notice every staircase, anywhere in the world, looks exactly the same.
Stand at the top. What do you see? Parts of the staircase are worn away, in two rows, going from the top to the bottom.
This is because every person coming in and out drags their feet in exactly the same manner. They walk up the side of the staircase and, after many years, you get grooves where thousands of pedestrians have walked.
Wanna know another word for the groove?
Patterns are so easy to fall into that we don’t even notice we’re in them. Even if we do notice, we don’t really know what to change.
“Ok, everyone’s behaving this way. What do I do now?” It’s far from obvious.
There’s also all these reasons for not being different– social pressure being a huge one. “Omg, what will people think?”
Worse than that is that when someone steps out of a pattern, they usually step right into yet another pre-existing one. That’s why alternative kids all dress the same.
Or butt marks on staircases’ rails where everyone decides they’re going to slide down, instead of walk.
The World is Losing Its Wildness
There are no uncharted spaces anymore, no hinterlands, are there? 19th century explorers had the Arctic; in the 20th century they had the moon. What about us?
Psychologically it’s a bit the same. How does someone become different, become themselves? Or are we recognizing that there is no new way, only many different acceptable ways to be different? Is that a good thing?
Are you walking down a staircase? You should at least be conscious of the pattern you’re in. You may want to change it, just because. The ability to adapt is healthy. It’ll get you to think differently, even if only a bit.
Or hey, if you’re going to travel the same path as everyone else… you may as well do it without dragging your feet.