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by Jason A. Swiger

Conformity is a powerful thing. By definition conformity is correspondence in form, manner, or character; synonymous with agreement. Perhaps something missing in the definition, is that when you conform you give up a little of your soul --- a little of your individuality.

Many a person will frown upon conformity because of this. When one conforms too much he or she isn't his or her own person anymore. It's an awful thing to have this occur, therefore, most of us strive to be our own person and conform as little as possible. But really, didn't we all conform when we first stepped onto a board and decided we wanted to pursue skateboarding further?

So is conformity good? Or is it bad? Hmm.

It's bad when you let conformity run your life. I see kids everyday afraid to be their own person because in the past when they've tried to reach out to themselves and be themselves, they've had their hand slapped away with criticism. I see kids that skate to try and be "cool" instead of for fun and really aren't happy when they're out skating. Some children don't have enough confidence to be themselves and would rather conform to fit in than be themselves and truly be happy. When this occurs, conformity is bad.

But then, there is good conformity. Good conformity occurs when someone decides to skateboard or take up an instrument, and ends up falling in love and skating or playing the instrument for the rest of their life (or at least several years of their life). This conformity, rather than taking from your individuality, separates you more from the pack and adds to your individuality. It spices up the pizza that is your life.

So instead of conforming to fit in, I urge everyone out there to conform to stand out. Limit your bad conformity and you will stand out. Be yourself. Forget what everyone else thinks of you. Skate hard... so what if you can't land a trick? Listen to jazz. Play the kazoo. If it floats your boat... by all means, let your boat float.

Sorry, if this has little skate related content, but if you apply this to your skatehood or skating or whatever you may call it, you may just be a better person for it. Don't go out and try to bust the kickflip to 50-50 that your friend just busted... instead go for a caveman 50-50 to fingerflip out, you know? Instead of feeling like you should do what your friend does to fit in, do something completely different and you'll both end up feeding off eachother and becoming more creative and having more fun.

Anyways, thats it. Have fun out there buckos and buckettes.