Breaking Norms Quotes

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Dads. It’s time to show our sons how to properly treat a woman. It’s time to show our daughters how a girl should expect be treated. It’s time to show forgiveness and compassion. It’s time to show our children empathy. It’s time to break social norms and teach a healthier way of life! It’s time to teach good gender roles and to ditch the unnecessary ones. Does it really matter if your son likes the color pink? Is it going to hurt anybody? Do you not see the damage it inflicts to tell a boy that there is something wrong with him because he likes a certain color? Do we not see the damage we do in labeling our girls “tom boys” or our boys “feminine” just because they have their own likes and opinions on things? Things that really don’t matter?
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing: The Best of Year One)
Difference can be a gift. Being ace can mean less interpersonal drama and more freedom from social norms around relationships. It is an opportunity to focus more on other passions, to be less distracted by sexuality, to break the scripts, to choose your own adventure and your own values.
Angela Chen (Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex)
There are Tantrics who deliberately seek to do more active forms of renunciation, so transgression of social norms and breaking of taboo, and breaking of social taboos especially, is a form of renunciation.
Zeena Schreck
For me, self-discipline has never corresponded to a voluntary adhesion to norms invented by others. It has always been the first step towards breaking the chains.
Eugenio Barba (On Directing)
English “manners” were imposed on the middle class as a way of domesticating them, along with instilling in them the fear of breaking rules and violating social norms.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life)
Motherlands are castles made of glass. In order to leave them, you have to break something – a wall, a social convention, a cultural norm, a psychological barrier, a heart. What you have broken will haunt you. To be an emigré, therefore, means to forever bear shards of glass in your pockets. It is easy to forget they are there, light and minuscule as they are, and go on with your life, your little ambitions and important plans, but at the slightest contact the shards will remind you of their presence. They will cut you deep.
Elif Shafak (How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division)
Simply put, white cops are afraid of black men. We don’t talk about it, we pretend it doesn’t exist, we claim “color blindness,” we say white officers treat black men the same way they treat white men. But that’s a lie. In fact, the bigger, the darker the black man the greater the fear. The African-American community knows this. Hell, most whites know it. Yet, even though it’s a central, if not the defining ingredient in the makeup of police racism, white cops won’t admit it to themselves, or to others.
Norm Stamper (Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing)
The world doesn't need a good woman who is meekly obedient to the uncivilized social norms that advocate female inferiority. The world needs those bad women who can think for themselves, to break the primeval norms of the society that consistently drag the human civilization back to the stone-age.
Abhijit Naskar (The Bengal Tigress: A Treatise on Gender Equality (Humanism Series))
Do we not see the influence we have when we say we believe in one thing, but our children see us living something else? Do we not realize how little we encourage our children to actually decide what they believe, declare what they believe, and then live by it? Whether it’s religion, politics, sports, or societal norms. It is not our place to tell our kids what to think. It is our place to teach our kids to think correctly. If we do this, we need have no fear of what they will decide for themselves and how strongly they’ll stand behind it. A man will follow his own convictions to his death, but he’ll only follow another man’s convictions until he steps in manure.
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing: The Best of Year One)
most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has marketed Diet Coke around the world under the slogan ‘Diet Coke. Do what feels good.’ Even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order. Let’s consider, for example, the popular desire to take a holiday abroad. There is nothing natural or obvious about this. A chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday into the territory of a neighbouring chimpanzee band. The elite of ancient Egypt spent their fortunes building pyramids and having their corpses mummified, but none of them thought of going shopping in Babylon or taking a skiing holiday in Phoenicia. People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. 18. The Great Pyramid of Giza. The kind of thing rich people in ancient Egypt did with their money. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country – they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfil our human potential, and make us happier. Consequently, when the relationship between a millionaire and his wife is going through a rocky patch, he takes her on an expensive trip to Paris. The trip is not a reflection of some independent desire, but rather of an ardent belief in the myths of romantic consumerism. A wealthy man in ancient Egypt would never have dreamed of solving a relationship crisis by taking his wife on holiday to Babylon. Instead, he might have built for her the sumptuous tomb she had always wanted. Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids. Only the names, shapes and sizes of these pyramids change from one culture to the other. They may take the form, for example, of a suburban cottage with a swimming pool and an evergreen lawn, or a gleaming penthouse with an enviable view. Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
There are Tantrics who deliberately break taboos and social norms and then there are other Tantrics who, by means of their practices and the way that they practice, that to society in general, it may have the appearance of breaking social norms but in fact that is just the manifestation of the progress of their practice.
Zeena Schreck
In New York City, twenty-three African-American cops have been shot and eighteen others assaulted by white officers in cases of "mistaken identity." Not one white cop has ever been shot by a black cop. The PBA, while bemoaning these "tragic incidents," has done nothing to help remedy the problem.
Norm Stamper (Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing)
So, what’s the first step to changing norms? It’s breaking the code of silence around the problem that always sustains the status quo.
Kerry Patterson (Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change)
possible topics around which the currents of speech may flow: Death and the danger of death: violence, fighting, sickness, fear, dreams, premonitions and communication with the dead. Sex and relations between the sexes: dating, courtship, proposals, marriage, breaking off relationships, affairs, intermarriage. Moral indignation: assignment and rejection of blame, unfairness, injustice, gossip, violations of social norms.
William Labov (The Language of Life and Death: The Transformation of Experience in Oral Narrative)
Does it seem reasonable that she should play so wonderfully, and live so quietly? I suspect that one day she will be wonderful in both. The watertight compartments in her will break down, and music and life will mingle.
E.M. Forster (A Room with a View)
Women, even the most oppressed among us, do exercise power. These powers can be used to advance feminist struggle. Forms of power held by exploited and oppressed groups are described in Elizabeth Janeway's important work Powers of the Weak. One of the most significant forms of power held by the weak is "the refusal to accept the definition of oneself that is put forward by the powerful". Janeway call this the "ordered use of the power to disbelieve". She explains: It is true that one may not have a coherent self-definition to set against the status assigned by the established social mythology, and that is not necessary for dissent. By disbelieving, one will be led toward doubting prescribed codes of behaviour, and as one begins to act in ways that can deviate from the norm in any degree, it becomes clear that in fact there is not just one right way to handle or understand events. Women need to know that they can reject the powerful's definition of their reality --- that they can do so even if they are poor, exploited, or trapped in oppressive circumstances. They need to know that the exercise of this basic personal power is an act of resistance and strength. Many poor and exploited women, especially non-white women, would have been unable to develop positive self-concepts if they had not exercised their power to reject the powerful's definition of their reality. Much feminist thought reflects women's acceptance of the definition of femaleness put forth by the powerful. Even though women organizing and participating in feminist movement were in no way passive, unassertive, or unable to make decisions, they perpetuated the idea that these characteristics were typical female traits, a perspective that mirrored male supremacist interpretation of women's reality. They did not distinguish between the passive role many women assume in relation to male peers and/or male authority figures, and the assertive, even domineering, roles they assume in relation to one another, to children, or to those individuals, female or male, who have lower social status, who they see as inferiors, This is only one example of the way in which feminist activists did not break with the simplistic view of women's reality s it was defined by powerful me. If they had exercised the power to disbelieve, they would have insisted upon pointing out the complex nature of women's experience, deconstructing the notion that women are necessarily passive or unassertive.
bell hooks (Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center)
But of course saying 'just let go of toxic masculinity' to a man is like saying 'just relax' to a person having a panic attack. Men will only break free from the masculinity trap when they have a safe alternative, but for the time being they're growing up receiving the message that they are being surveilled and that any deviation from the ideals created by rigid masculinity will be grounds for embarrassment and rejection from men as well as women. The change is first and foremost individual, but it also has to be collective. No one is free from gender norms, and the messages that men receive about their gender is setting them up to fail, particularly in their intimate relationships.
Liz Plank (For the Love of Men: A New Vision for Mindful Masculinity)
[Immigrants] who come from anywhere there is hunger, unemployment, oppression, and violence and who clandestinely cross the borders of countries that are prosperous, peaceful, and rich in opportunity, are certainly breaking the law, but they are exercising a natural and moral right which no legal norm or regulation should try to eliminate: the right to life, to survival, to escape the infernal existence they are condemned to by barbarous regimes entrenched on half the earth's surface. If ethical considerations had any pervasive effect at all, the women and men who brave the Straits of Gibraltar or the Florida Keys or the electric fences of Tijuana or the docks of Marseilles in search of work, freedom, and a future should be received with open arms.
Mario Vargas Llosa (The Language of Passion: Selected Commentary)
That stereotype about transsexuals being all wild and criminal and bold and outside the norm and, like, engendering in the townsfolk the courage to break free from the smothering constraints of conformity? That stereotype is about drag queens. Maria is transsexual and she is so meek she might disappear.
Imogen Binnie (Nevada: A Novel)
An eternity gone by ,in this solitude, A confinement within my mind , to endure through life. Isolation , they say, is a gift that only the strongest possesses. Breaking the norms of conformity . Insane, am I?  For , to be accepted , I need to be part of " them ". I am an anarchy and the anarchist , I am, my ,own " God".
BinYamin Gulzar
Just because everyone else does, it doesn't mean you have to. Break the repetitive cycle and excel beyond the norm.
Torron-Lee Dewar
Losing society's auto expectancy is going to make you or break you.
Kayo K.
Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Trump’s mendacity is so extreme that news organizations have resorted to assembling lengthy lists of lies he’s told, insults he’s delivered, norms he’s violated, in addition to hiring squads of fact-checkers. And his shamelessness has emboldened politicians around him to lie with even more effrontery than ever. Republicans in Congress, for instance, blatantly lied about the effects their tax bill would have on the deficit and social safety net provisions, just as they lied about how much it would help the middle class, when in fact it was all about giving tax breaks to corporations and the very rich.
Michiko Kakutani (The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump)
If a girl breaks off her engagement, everyone says: “Oh, she had someone else in her mind; she hopes to get someone else.” It’s disgusting, brutal! As if a girl can’t break it off for the sake of freedom.
E.M. Forster (A Room with a View)
Even the mild-mannered Sophia Western of Tom Jones and Richardson's annoyingly pious Clarissa Harlow distinguished themselves by saying no to the authority of their parents, their societies, and norms and demanding to marry the man they chose. Perhaps it was exactly because women were deprived of so much in their real lives that they became so subversive in the realm of fiction, refusing the authority imposed on them, breaking out of old structures, not submitting.
Azar Nafisi (Things I've Been Silent About)
Look for the truth that explodes existing boundaries and definitions. Follow your instincts and you'll get a chance to break prevailing rules so beautifully you may even end up establishing a new norm, a new paradigm. Nothing frozen is perfect.
Nadya Tolokonnikova (Read & Riot: A Pussy Riot Guide to Activism)
As more and more norms disappear from social praxis, literature faces ever-growing difficulties. Its predicament is beginning to resemble that of a child who has discovered that his incredibly understanding parents will let him break with impunity all his toys, indeed everything in the house. The artist cannot create specific prohibitions for himself in order to attack them later in his work; the prohibitions must be real, and hence independent of the writer's choices. And since the relativization of cultural norms has not so far been able to disturb the given characteristics of human biology, that is where writers today seek the still perceptible points of resistance--which is why literature is preoccupied with the theme of sex.
Stanisław Lem (Microworlds: Writings on Science Fiction and Fantasy)
Second, we have a strong tendency for reciprocity—responding in kind to the actions of another. When someone says “Hello” or extends their hand to shake our own, we feel the urge to reciprocate—not doing so breaks a strong social norm and feels cold.
Nir Eyal (Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life)
Creativity is at the heart of every stupid idea . . . creativity and stupid are interchangeable . . . because everything inherent to that kind of creativity requires breaking away from the norm, going against the grain, and leaning into risk and fear.
Richie Norton (The Power of Starting Something Stupid)
There is tremendous internal pressure to comply with the norms of the group. The reward of being accepted is often greater than the reward of winning an argument, looking smart, or finding truth. Most days, we’d rather be wrong with the crowd than be right by ourselves.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Information about toxicity in food is widely available, but people don’t want to hear it. Once in a while a story is spectacular enough to break through and attract media attention, but the swell quickly subsides into the general glut of bad news over which we, as citizens, have so little control. Coming at us like this — in waves, massed and unbreachable—knowledge becomes symbolic of our disempowerment—becomes bad knowledge—so we deny it, riding its crest until it subsides from consciousness. . . . In this root sense, ignorance is an act of will, a choice that one makes over and over again, especially when information overwhelms and knowledge has become synonymous with impotence. I would like to think of my “ignorance” less as a personal failing and more as a massive cultural trend, an example of doubling, of psychic numbing, that characterises the end of the millennium. If we can’t act on knowledge, then we can’t survive without ignorance. So we cultivate the ignorance, go to great lengths to celebrate it, even. The faux-dumb aesthetic that dominates TV and Hollywood must be about this. Fed on a media diet of really bad news, we live in a perpetual state of repressed panic. We are paralyzed by bad knowledge, from which the only escape is playing dumb. Ignorance becomes empowering because it enables people to live. Stupidity becomes proactive, a political statement. Our collective norm.
Ruth Ozeki (My Year of Meats)
Groups must balance the need to enforce norms with the need to adapt. If the group is unable to enforce social norms, then there will be too much cheating, and cooperation will break down. However, if the group is too rigid in its social norms, then it will fail to adapt to new circumstances.
Arnold Kling (The Three Languages of Politics: Talking Across the Political Divides)
It seems like everyone these days is putting on a mask to feel beautiful, trying to fit into some pre-established norms of how we should look. This isn’t only painful, it’s ignorant. Saying like we know, better than nature does, what is beautiful and what is not is like a two-year-old lecturing an old man about patience. Nature’s been creating beauty for millennia and you are part of that creation process. Stop the madness. Stop fighting who you are. Let the mask fall. It’ll be strange at first, yes. But, over time, you’ll see beyond the temporary discomfort of stepping outside social norms and learn to see the beauty you were born with, the beauty you’ve been taught to ignore and cover up. You’ll see beauty that will take your breath away, like a sunset. That’s how beautiful you are—like a sunset, like a forest, like a million fireflies on a calm warm night lighting up the sky. You are made by nature. Nature is wiser in the ways of beauty than cosmetics companies or magazines. Break the spell. Gain back your sanity. Go find that brilliant beauty within every single part of you. Go find the universe in your eyes. Remove that cloak that’s been pulled over your eyes and see yourself for who you really are.
Vironika Tugaleva
Some say the heart is the most selfish organ in the body because it keeps all the good blood for itself. It takes in all the good blood, the most oxygenated blood, and then distributes the rest to every other organ. So, in a sense maybe the heart is selfish. But if the heart didn’t keep the good blood for itself, the heart would die. And if the heart died, it would take every other organ with it. The liver. The kidneys. The brain. The heart, in a way, has to be selfish for its own preservation. So, don’t let people tell you that you’re selfish and wrong to follow your own heart. I urge you, I give you permission, to break the rules, to think outside the norms of traditional society.
Vishen Lakhiani (The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms)
One might object that belly dancing originates in a culture which is foreign to the West and therefore unsuited to Western women, yet this is precisely what makes it an even more enriching experience, apart from the fact that it is perfectly suited to the female body. By experiencing unfamiliar movements, a woman can allow her body to break through cultural norms.
Rosina-Fawzia Al-Rawi (Grandmother's Secrets: The Ancient Rituals and Healing Power of Belly Dancing)
She shushed him with a hand. “Don’t. I know who I am and that all my talk about droid rights and everything else makes people uncomfortable. The Maker didn’t put me in this galaxy to make organics feel good about themselves, though.” “Well, that much is clear.” “And I’m okay with that. When you know what you’re here to do, everything that’s not that matters much less.
Daniel José Older (Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel (Star Wars))
For those who have sex, these ideas—breaking the binary of yes and no, norms that encourage discussion—must be combined with always checking in. Checking in doesn’t mean stopping for a five-minute discussion in legalese. It requires paying attention to—and wanting to pay attention to—all forms of information. Nonverbal communication in particular is important because social pressures can make it hard for some to speak up and verbally say no. “I’m autistic and people are always telling me that 95 percent of communication is nonverbal and tell me it’s important to make efforts to understand that,” says Lola Phoenix, a writer in London. “And then when it comes to consent it’s suddenly like, ‘Why didn’t they say something? No one is a mind reader!’ That’s really hypocritical.
Angela Chen (Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex)
In the past few years, I’ve vacationed in Panama and England. I’ve bought my groceries at Whole Foods. I’ve watched orchestral concerts. I’ve tried to break my addiction to “refined processed sugars” (a term that includes at least one too many words). I’ve worried about racial prejudice in my own family and friends. None of these things is bad on its own. In fact, most of them are good—visiting England was a childhood dream; eating less sugar improves health. At the same time, they’ve shown me that social mobility isn’t just about money and economics, it’s about a lifestyle change. The wealthy and the powerful aren’t just wealthy and powerful; they follow a different set of norms and mores. When you go from working-class to professional-class, almost everything about your old life becomes unfashionable at best or unhealthy at worst.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
The real story of Nader, Shahed, and other women who live as men in Afghanistan is not so much about how they break gender norms or what they have become by doing that. Rather, it is about this: Between gender and freedom, freedom is the bigger and more important idea. In Afghanistan as well as globally. Defining one’s gender becomes a concern only after freedom is achieved. Then a person can begin to fill the word with new meaning.
Jenny Nordberg (The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan)
It's not the machines you need to fear. It's the people. Other people. The augmented men and women that will come afterwards. The children who use this technology you are creating will not care what it does to your norms and traditions. They will utilize this gift to its fullest potential and leave you begging in the dust. They will break your hearts, murder the natural world, and endanger their own souls. You will rue the day that you created us.
Dave Pryor
You’ve probably also noted the impacts of virtual distraction on your own and others’ behaviors: memory loss, inability to concentrate, being asked to repeat what you just said, miscommunication the norm, getting lost online and wasting time you don’t have, withdrawing from the real world. The list of what’s being lost is a description of our best human capacities—memory, meaning, relating, thinking, learning, caring. There is no denying the damage that’s been done to humans as technology took over—our own Progress Trap. The impact on children’s behavior is of greatest concern for its present and future implications. Dr. Nicolas Kardaras, a highly skilled physician in rehabilitation, is author of Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids—and How to Break the Trance. He describes our children’s behavior in ways that I notice in my younger grandchildren: “We see the aggressive temper tantrums when the devices are taken away and the wandering attention spans when children are not perpetually stimulated by their hyper-arousing devices. Worse, we see children who become bored, apathetic, uninteresting and uninterested when not plugged in.”17 These very disturbing behaviors are not just emotional childish reactions. Our children are behaving as addicts deprived of their drug. Brain imaging studies show that technology stimulates brains just like cocaine does.
Margaret J. Wheatley (Who Do We Choose to Be?: Facing Reality, Claiming Leadership, Restoring Sanity)
Dwarf things. Small things. Little things in relation to the norm. Insignificant things. Things with different dimensions. Curiously, the stories I like the most are made up of trivialities. Details. Trifles. These days, people look to what's big. The big picture, big sales figures, success. Bright lights, interviews, breaking news. Whatever's famous. Importance judged by fame. Maybe small things are subversive. Living on a modest scale compared to the norm. Maybe the dwarf is the hero of our time.
Brenda Lozano (Loop)
The argument that one should know the rules before breaking them is really an argument about who gets to make the rules, whose rules get to be the norms and determine the exceptions. To teach the writer from a “query” culture to use “ask” is not to teach her how to write better but to teach her whose writing is better. Writing that follows nondominant cultural standards is often treated as if it is “breaking the rules,” but why one set of rules and not another? What is official always has to do with power.
Matthew Salesses (Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping)
Of course, opera has plot – and I was already anticipating all those unknown stories I was about to discover – but its main function is to deliver the characters as swiftly as possible to the point where thet can sing of their deepest emotions. Opera cuts to the chase – as death does. So now, contented indifference before Middlesbrough against Slovan Bratislava coexisted with a craving for an art in which violent, overwhelming, hysterical and destructive emotion was the norme; an art which seeks, more obviously than any other form, to break your heart.
Julian Barnes (Levels of Life)
We are by the river bank. The river is very, very low. Almost dry. But mostly is wet stones. Grey on the outside. We walk on the stones for awhile. You pick up a stone and crash it onto the others. As it breaks, it is quite wet inside and is very colorful, very pretty. I pick up a stone and break it and run toward the pieces to see the colors. They are beautiful. I laugh and bring the pieces back to you and you are doing the same with your pieces. We keep on crashing stones for hours, anxious to see the beautiful new colors. We are playing. The playfulness of our activity does not presuppose that it is a particular form of play with its own rules. Rather the attitude that carries us through the activity, a playful attitude, turns the activity into play. Our activity has no rules, though it is certainly intentional activity and we both understand what we are doing. The playfulness that gives meaning to our activity includes uncertainty, but in this case the uncertainty is an openness to surprise. This is a particular metaphysical attitude that does not expect the world to be neatly packaged, ruly. Rules may fail to explain what we are doing. We are not self-important, we are not fixed in particular constructions of ourselves, which is part of saying that we are open to self-construction. We are not worried about competence. We are not wedded to a particular way of doing things. While playful we have not abandoned ourselves to, nor are we stuck in, any particular ‘world.’ We are there creatively. We are not passive. Playfulness is, in part, an openness to being a fool, which is a combination of not worrying about competence, not being self-important, not taking norms as sacred and finding ambiguity and double edges a source of wisdom and delight. So, positively, the playful attitude involves openness to surprise, openness to being a fool, openness to self-construction or reconstruction and to construction or reconstruction of the ‘worlds’ we inhabit playfully. Negatively, playfulness is characterized by uncertainty, lack of self-importance, absence of rules or a not taking rules as scared, a no worrying about competence and a lack of abandonment to a particular construction of oneself, others and one’s relation to them. In attempting to take a hold of oneself and one’s relation to others in a particular ‘world,’ one may study, examine and come to understand oneself. One may then see what the possibilities for play are for being one is in that ‘world.’ One may even decide to inhabit that self fully in order to understand it better and find its creative possibilities. All of this is just self-reflection, and is quite different from residing or abandoning oneself to the particular construction of oneself that one is attempting to take a hold of.
María Lugones
In the 20th century, it became more and more the norm for judges to incorrectly instruct juries that they must consider only the facts of the case and whether the defendant was guilty of breaking a law – not judge the law itself. Still, Jury Nullification survived, barely, much diminished, in prohibition cases, anti-Vietnam War cases, civil rights cases (Martin Luther King, for example, quoted St. Augustine in saying an unjust law is no law at all), and drug cases. Only now is there a small but growing movement to revive public knowledge of this essential right.
Mark David Ledbetter (America's Forgotten History, Part One: Foundations)
Over the last three centuries our historical reception of folk and fairy tales has been so negatively twisted by aesthetic norms, educational standards and market conditions that we can no longer distinguish folk tales from fairy tales nor recognize that the impact of these narratives stems from their imaginative grasp and symbolic depiction of social realities. Folk and fairy tales are generally confused with one another and taken as make-believe stories with no direct reference to a particular community or historical tradition. Their own specific ideology and aesthetics are rarely seen in the light of a diachronic historical development which has great bearing on our cultural self-understanding.
Jack D. Zipes (Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk & Fairy Tales)
Many of us from dysfunctional families are struggling. We need more help, it takes a village and we're trying to find ours. We are looking to family and possibly some friends who are still displaying destructive patterns of behavior that we don't want passed on to our children. How do we break the cycle? It starts with us, we have to create new circles and change the people we surround ourselves with. It's not easy letting go but necessary for our personal growth and well being, as well as generations to come. Our children will embrace what we accept as the norm because they are looking to us for guidance and direction. We set the tone for what's okay acceptable and unacceptable. We are the leaders and they will follow suit.
Tanesia Harris
People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
As a young man I started searching for my own identity by looking into family, friends and inside Myself. My mother always taught us to live free even when confined, meaning “never let anyone break you down physically or mentally.” Since my living environment was so heavily impacted with violence and illegal activity I found myself adapting to social norms that later in my adult life would negatively affect me. For example, certain physical reactions that were acceptable, as a child would give you a reputation on the street as tough guy, don’t mess with him. The same mentality later in life, as a man would label you as a predator of some sort and a woman abuser. It was hard to understand the true value of a man and all his worth and everything he is capable of achieving, when you’re surrounded by pimps, hustlers and con men that all may make more money than the men with trade jobs and have more of an appealing lifestyle for the short- term progress.
Rubin Scott
In the past few years, I’ve vacationed in Panama and England. I’ve bought my groceries at Whole Foods. I’ve watched orchestral concerts. I’ve tried to break my addiction to “refined processed sugars” (a term that includes at least one too many words). I’ve worried about racial prejudice in my own family and friends. None of these things is bad on its own. In fact, most of them are good—visiting England was a childhood dream; eating less sugar improves health. At the same time, they’ve shown me that social mobility isn’t just about money and economics, it’s about a lifestyle change. The wealthy and the powerful aren’t just wealthy and powerful; they follow a different set of norms and mores. When you go from working-class to professional-class, almost everything about your old life becomes unfashionable at best or unhealthy at worst. At no time was this more obvious than the first (and last) time I took a Yale friend to Cracker Barrel. In my youth, it was the height of fine dining—my grandma’s and my favorite restaurant.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Whenever a person of unveiling sees a form which communicates to him gnosis which he did not have and which he had not been able to grasp before, that form is from his own source, no other. From the tree of himself he gathers the fruits of his cultivation, as his outer form opposite the reflected body is nothing other than himself, even though the place of the presence in which he sees the form of himself presents him with an aspect of the reality of that presence through transformation. The large appears small in the small mirror and tall in the tall, and the moving as movement. It can reverse its form from a special presence, and it can reflect things exactly as they appear, so the right side of the viewer is his right side, while the right side can be on the left. This is generally the normal state in mirrors, and it is a break in the norm when the right side is seen as the right and inversion occurs. All this is from the gifts of the reality of the Presence in which it is manifested and which we have compared to the mirror.
Ibn 'Arabi (The Bezels of Wisdom)
This book festival...grew to attract thousands of visitors every year. Now they felt like they needed a new purpose. The festival’s continuing existence felt assured. What was it for? What could it do? How could it make itself count? The festival’s leadership reached out to me for advice on these questions. What kind of purpose could be their next great animating force? Someone had the idea that the festival’s purpose could be about stitching together the community. Books were, of course, the medium. But couldn’t an ambitious festival set itself the challenge of making the city more connected? Couldn’t it help turn strong readers into good citizens? That seemed to me a promising direction—a specific, unique, disputable lodestar for a book festival that could guide its construction...We began to brainstorm. I proposed an idea: Instead of starting each session with the books and authors themselves, why not kick things off with a two-minute exercise in which audience members can meaningfully, if briefly, connect with one another? The host could ask three city- or book-related questions, and then ask each member of the audience to turn to a stranger to discuss one of them. What brought you to this city—whether birth or circumstance? What is a book that really affected you as a child? What do you think would make us a better city? Starting a session with these questions would help the audience become aware of one another. It would also break the norm of not speaking to a stranger, and perhaps encourage this kind of behavior to continue as people left the session. And it would activate a group identity—the city’s book lovers—that, in the absence of such questions, tends to stay dormant. As soon as this idea was mentioned, someone in the group sounded a worry. “But I wouldn’t want to take away time from the authors,” the person said. There it was—the real, if unspoken, purpose rousing from its slumber and insisting on its continued primacy. Everyone liked the idea of “book festival as community glue” in theory. But at the first sign of needing to compromise on another thing in order to honor this new something, alarm bells rang. The group wasn’t ready to make the purpose of the book festival the stitching of community if it meant changing the structure of the sessions, or taking time away from something else. Their purpose, whether or not they admitted it, was the promotion of books and reading and the honoring of authors. It bothered them to make an author wait two minutes for citizens to bond. The book festival was doing what many of us do: shaping a gathering according to various unstated motivations, and making half-hearted gestures toward loftier goals.
Priya Parker (The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters)
when something breaks the cause-and-effect pattern we've come to expect — when we encounter something outside the norm — we suddenly become aware of it again.[lxxii] Novelty sparks our interest, makes us pay attention, and — like a baby encountering a friendly dog for the first time — we seem to love it.
Nir Eyal (Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products)
Are you okay?" he asked. There were no words to be said. Because in that moment, as Logan's eyes flooded with love and concern, I realized that "normal" was a concept open for interpretation. What happened tonight was a mistake. An anomaly. A break from our norm. And despite the circumstances, I was still exactly where I wanted to be. I gave Logan a reassuring smile and nodded. "Are you hurt?" he continued. "No, I'm fine." I replied. (Just completely freaked out.)
Alicia Kobishop (The Fine Line)
This is perhaps the biggest departure from the science fiction norm. We do not have ‘the cocky guy,’ ‘the fast-talker,’ ‘the brain,’ ‘the wacky alien sidekick’ or any of the other usual characters who populate a space series. Our characters are living, breathing people with all the emotional complexity and contradictions present in quality dramas like The West Wing or The Sopranos. In this way, we hope to challenge our audience in ways that other genre pieces do not. We want the audience to connect with the characters of Galactica as people. Our characters are not super-heroes. They are not an elite. They are everyday people caught up in an enormous cataclysm and trying to survive it as best they can. “They are you and me.
Alan Sepinwall (The Revolution Was Televised: How The Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Lost, and Other Groundbreaking Dramas Changed TV Forever)
Christian feminists insist that patriarchal Christianity’s denial of women’s humanity, its disrespect for their human rights, and its idealizing of women’s powerlessness is far from accidental. This system of male control naturalizes dominant-subordinate relationships for the purpose of legitimating male supremacy. Its continuation depends, to a great extent, on the compliance of women and men to its norms and ideological assumptions about gender. When gender conformity and compliance to racist patriarchal norms break down, patriarchy turns violent, especially when women display autonomous self-direction and “when we women live and act as full and adequate persons in our own right.” As [Beverly] Harrison explains: It is never the mere presence of a women nor the image of women, nor fear of ‘femininity,’ that is the heart of misogyny. The core of misogyny, which has yet to be broken or even touched, is the reaction that occurs when women’s concrete power is manifest.
Marvin M. Ellison
Our brains have evolved over millennia to help us figure out how things work. Once we understand causal relationships, we retain that information in memory. Our habits are simply the brain's ability to quickly retrieve the appropriate behavioral response to a routine or process we have already learned. Habits help us conserve our attention for other things while we go about the tasks we can perform with little or no conscious thought. However, when something breaks the cause-and-effect pattern we've come to expect — when we encounter something outside the norm — we suddenly become aware of it again.[72] Novelty sparks our interest, makes us pay attention, and — like babies encountering friendly dogs for the first time — we seem to love it.
Nir Eyal (Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products)
Correlations made by big data are likely to reinforce negative bias. Because big data often relies on historical data or at least the status quo, it can easily reproduce discrimination against disadvantaged racial and ethnic minorities. The propensity models used in many algorithms can bake in a bias against someone who lived in the zip code of a low-income neighborhood at any point in his or her life. If an algorithm used by human resources companies queries your social graph and positively weighs candidates with the most existing connections to a workforce, it makes it more difficult to break in in the first place. In effect, these algorithms can hide bias behind a curtain of code. Big data is, by its nature, soulless and uncreative. It nudges us this way and that for reasons we are not meant to understand. It strips us of our privacy and puts our mistakes, secrets, and scandals on public display. It reinforces stereotypes and historical bias. And it is largely unregulated because we need it for economic growth and because efforts to try to regulate it have tended not to work; the technologies are too far-reaching and are not built to recognize the national boundaries of our world’s 196 sovereign nation-states. Yet would it be best to try to shut down these technologies entirely if we could? No. Big data simultaneously helps solve global challenges while creating an entirely new set of challenges. It’s our best chance at feeding 9 billion people, and it will help solve the problem of linguistic division that is so old its explanation dates back to the Old Testament and the Tower of Babel. Big data technologies will enable us to discover cancerous cells at 1 percent the size of what can be detected using today’s technologies, saving tens of millions of lives. The best approach to big data might be one put forward by the Obama campaign’s chief technology officer, Michael Slaby, who said, “There’s going to be a constant mix between your qualitative experience and your quantitative experience. And at times, they’re going to be at odds with each other, and at times they’re going to be in line. And I think it’s all about the blend. It’s kind of like you have a mixing board, and you have to turn one up sometimes, and turn down the other. And you never want to be just one or the other, because if it’s just one, then you lose some of the soul.” Slaby has made an impressive career out of developing big data tools, but even he recognizes that these tools work best when governed by human judgment. The choices we make about how we manage data will be as important as the decisions about managing land during the agricultural age and managing industry during the industrial age. We have a short window of time—just a few years, I think—before a set of norms set in that will be nearly impossible to reverse. Let’s hope humans accept the responsibility for making these decisions and don’t leave it to the machines.
Alec J. Ross (The Industries of the Future)
Also, I should note here that most of your family and friends will mean well when they express their reservations about something that’s not common. It comes from a place of love and care, but also from a place of tradition, norms and customs. It will also come from fear of the unknown, of breaking new territory. So, they mean well. But just because it’s well-intended doesn’t make it easier on you. Most of us who are thinking about doing or being something different already have their own self-doubts, and if we have to add on the burden of family members’ and friends’ doubts, it makes it even harder to progress—to get on and do it.
Genti CICI (STANDUP: An RV Journey into Financial Freedom, Personal Development and the Meaning of It All)
Winning the argument is not what breaks the norm. Breaking the norm breaks the norm.
Dolly Chugh (The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias)
If you want to look for obstacles, what’s wrong is always available. But so is what’s right! I am a hunter of human excellence. I seek out those individuals who break the norms and demonstrate to all of us what’s really possible. I learn what those few extraordinary individuals do that’s different from everybody else, and then emulate them. I find out what works, and then I clarify it, simplify it, and systematize it in a way to help people move forward.
Anthony Robbins (MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom (Tony Robbins Financial Freedom))
The 'motive' is a certain expressive divergence in relation to a certain 'norm,' but not a choice in the sense of positing an end...It is the choice of a hand and the eye...But who or what makes the choice? There is motivation that comes simultaneously from colors, light, substance, movement, a call from all of that to a movement of the hand which resolves the problems while being unaware of it just as when we walk or gesture. Implex or animal of movements and colors. Each partial act reverberates upon the whole, provokes a deviation which is to be compensated by others...Not a choice that breaks but one that slides and opens...Rather than choice, it is necessary to say labor.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Institution and Passivity: Course Notes from the Collège de France, 1954-1955)
If I tell you stories of my experiences in newsrooms and dealing with editors and publishers, for example, having a (older, male) publisher say to me, ‘I think you need to stop writing so much about domestic violence; our audience are professional working women, it’s not really relevant to them,’ this tells you a lot more than a list of statistics about perceptions of domestic violence among male publishers. This is particularly true for women from oppressed groups. They break the silence of oppression by speaking about their lives and force change just by this powerful act. The more honest women are about their experiences the more they challenge the norms that have been reinforced by the silencing of marginalised voices. It is even more important to hear about experiences that are shocking to men or other women outside the writer’s demographic. That it is shocking is proof of the silence imposed upon women previously unable to speak. By sharing personal information and stories about their lives, women are able to express the truth of female experience and explain the forces that silence women or cause them to fear for their safety, whether it be personal, professional, financial or sexual. Those forces are often unrecognised because they have been normalised. Memoir exposes them from the side of the oppressed rather than reinforcing them from the side of the oppressors. One of the ways oppression works is by silencing. Speaking about personal experiences of oppression is therefore a revolutionary political act.
Jane Gilmore (Fixed It)
Only the Faustians are explorers and bold adventurers. The Faustians are fearless. It is their nature to push boundaries, to break barriers, to always exceed the norms. No box can hold them. Faustians seek to conquer not just the world, but the entire universe. The Faustians, when they are healthy, have the strongest will to power. They are not bound by space and time. They demand all knowledge. They will never rest until they have it. They will be as gods. They will never stop until they have the knowledge of the gods. The only fruit they eat is the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Which culture will bring an end to the tide of history? History will end when one Idea, one Culture, has totally prevailed. That is the Faustian Culture, the Faustian Idea, the Idea of the Unlimited, the Infinite. Mathematics is the tool for the exploration of the infinite.
Joe Dixon (The Prophet of War: The Downfall of the West)
The first step in breaking organizational culture inertia is simplification. This helps to eliminate the complex routines, processes, and hidden bargains among units that mask waste and inefficiency. Strip out excess layers of administration and halt nonessential operations—sell them off, close them down, spin them off, or outsource the services. Coordinating committees and a myriad of complex initiatives need to be disbanded. The simpler structure will begin to illuminate obsolete units, inefficiency, and simple bad behavior that was hidden from sight by complex overlays of administration and self-interest. After the first round of simplification, it may be necessary to fragment the operating units. This will be the case when units do not need to work in close coordination—when they are basically separable. Such fragmentation breaks political coalitions, cuts the comfort of cross-subsidies, and exposes a larger number of smaller units to leadership’s scrutiny of their operations and performance. After this round of fragmentation, and more simplification, it is necessary to perform a triage. Some units will be closed, some will be repaired, and some will form the nuclei of a new structure. The triage must be based on both performance and culture—you cannot afford to have a high-performing unit with a terrible culture infect the others. The “repair” third of the triaged units must then be put through individual transformation and renewal maneuvers. Changing a unit’s culture means changing its members’ work norms and work-related values. These norms are established, held, and enforced daily by small social groups that take their cue from the group’s high-status member—the alpha. In general, to change the group’s norms, the alpha member must be replaced by someone who expresses different norms and values. All this is speeded along if a challenging goal is set. The purpose of the challenge is not performance per se, but building new work habits and routines within the unit. Once the bulk of operating units are working well, it may then be time to install a new overlay of coordinating mechanisms, reversing some of the fragmentation that was used to break inertia.
Richard P. Rumelt (Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters)
Japan, a country that had done its best to have no contact with strangers and to seal out the rest of the world. Its economy and politics were dominated by feudal agriculture and a Confucian hierarchical social structure, and they were steadily declining. Merchants were the lowest social class, and trading with foreigners was actually forbidden except for limited contact with China and the Dutch. But then Japan had an unexpected encounter with a stranger—Commodore Matthew Perry—who burst in on July 8, 1853, demanding that Japan’s ports be open to America for trade and insisting on better treatment for shipwrecked sailors. His demands were rebuffed, but Perry came back a year later with a bigger fleet and more firepower. He explained to the Japanese the virtues of trading with other countries, and eventually they signed the Treaty of Kanagawa on March 31, 1854, opening the Japanese market to foreign trade and ending two hundred years of near isolation. The encounter shocked the Japanese political elites, forcing them to realize just how far behind the United States and other Western nations Japan had fallen in military technology. This realization set in motion an internal revolution that toppled the Tokugawa Shogunate, which had ruled Tokyo in the name of the emperor since 1603, and brought Emperor Meiji, and a coalition of reformers, in his place. They chose adaptation by learning from those who had defeated them. They launched a political, economic, and social transformation of Japan, based on the notion that if they wanted to be as strong as the West they had to break from their current cultural norms and make a wholesale adoption of Western science, technology, engineering, education, art, literature, and even clothing and architecture. It turned out to be more difficult than they thought, but the net result was that by the late nineteenth century Japan had built itself into a major industrial power with the heft to not only reverse the unequal economic treaties imposed on it by Western powers but actually defeat one of those powers—Russia—in a war in 1905. The Meiji Restoration made Japan not only more resilient but also more powerful.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
Zuckerman turned his attention back to Myron. “So tell me, you trying to sign Crispin?” “I haven’t even met him yet,” Myron said. Zuckerman put his hand to his chest, feigning surprise. “Well then, Myron, this is some eerie coincidence. You being here when we’re about to break bread with him—what are the odds? Wait.” Norm stopped, put his hand to his ear. “I think I hear Twilight Zone music.” “Ha-ha,” Myron said. “Oh, relax, Myron. I’m teasing you. Lighten up, for crying out loud. But let me be honest for a second, okay? I don’t think Cripsin needs you, Myron. Nothing personal, but the kid signed the deal with me himself. No agent. No lawyer. Handled it all on his own.” “And got robbed,” Win added. Zuckerman put a hand to his chest. “You wound me, Win.” “Crispin told me the numbers,” Win said. “Myron would have gotten him a far better deal.” “With all due respect to your centuries of upper-crust inbreeding, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. The kid left a little money in the till for me, that’s all. Is that a crime nowadays—for a man to make a profit? Myron’s a shark, for crying out loud. He rips off my clothes when we talk. He leaves my office, I don’t even have undies left. I don’t even have furniture. I don’t even have an office. I start out with this beautiful office and Myron comes in and I end up naked in some soup kitchen someplace.” Myron
Harlan Coben (Back Spin (Myron Bolitar, #4))
The synergies between extractive economic and political institutions create a vicious circle, where extractive institutions, once in place, tend to persist. Similarly, there is a virtuous circle associated with inclusive economic and political institutions. But neither the vicious nor the virtuous circle is absolute. In fact, some nations live under inclusive institutions today because, though extractive institutions have been the norm in history, some societies have been able to break the mold and transition toward inclusive institutions. Our explanation for these transitions is historical, but not historically predetermined. Major institutional change, the requisite for major economic change, takes place as a result of the interaction between existing institutions and critical junctures. Critical junctures are major events that disrupt the existing political and economic balance in one or many societies, such as the Black Death, which killed possibly as much as half the population of most areas in Europe during the fourteenth century; the opening of Atlantic trade routes, which created enormous profit opportunities for many in Western Europe; and the Industrial Revolution, which offered the potential for rapid but also disruptive changes in the structure of economies around the world. Existing
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty)
Because of the unlimited potential packed within each person, attaining greatness should have been the norm, not an oddity.
Assegid Habtewold (Soft Skills That Make or Break Your Success: 12 Soft skills to master self, get along with, and lead others successfully)
When you’re young, you can believe in nothing except your pleasure center. That’s the norm. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. But as you get older, as things happen to you, as things break in your body, you want to turn to somebody. But you don’t know where to turn. These questions have plagued me to such an extent that I have lost my faith many times along the rocky road we all walk. But we all must walk along this road, no matter how much our feet bleed, no matter how they ache.
Michael Savage (God, Faith, and Reason)
Consider a 2012 study, led by psychologists Wilhelm Hofmann and Roy Baumeister, that outfitted 205 adults with beepers that activated at randomly selected times (this is the experience sampling method discussed in Part 1). When the beeper sounded, the subject was asked to pause for a moment to reflect on desires that he or she was currently feeling or had felt in the last thirty minutes, and then answer a set of questions about these desires. After a week, the researchers had gathered more than 7,500 samples. Here’s the short version of what they found: People fight desires all day long. As Baumeister summarized in his subsequent book, Willpower (co-authored with the science writer John Tierney): “Desire turned out to be the norm, not the exception.” The five most common desires these subjects fought include, not surprisingly, eating, sleeping, and sex. But the top five list also included desires for “taking a break from [hard] work… checking e-mail and social networking sites, surfing the web, listening to music, or watching television.” The lure of the Internet and television proved especially strong: The subjects succeeded in resisting these particularly addictive distractions only around half the time. These results are bad news for this rule’s goal of helping you cultivate a deep work habit. They tell us that you can expect to be bombarded with the desire to do anything but work deeply throughout the day,
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
Getting to fifty-fifty is incredibly complex and nuanced, requiring many detailed solutions that will take decades to fully play out. To accelerate the process, change needs to start at the top. Like Stewart Butterfield, CEOs need to make hiring and retaining women an explicit priority. In addition, here is the bare minimum of what we can do at an individual and a systemic level: First of all, people, be nice to each other. Treat one another with respect and dignity, including those of the opposite sex.That should be pretty simple. Don’t enable assholes. Stop making excuses for bad behavior, or ignoring it. CEOs must embrace and champion the need to reach a fair representation of gender within their companies, and develop a comprehensive plan to get there. Be long-term focused, not short-term. It may take three weeks to find a white man for the job, but three months to find a woman. Those three months could save three years of playing catch-up in the future. Invest in not just diversity but inclusion. Even if your company is small, everything counts. And take the time to educate your employees about why this is important. Companies need to appoint more women to their boards. And boards need to hold company leadership to account to get to fifty-fifty in their employee ranks, starting with company executives. Venture capital firms need to hire more women partners, and limited partners should pressure them to do so and, at the very least, ask them what their plans around diversity are. Investors, both men and women, need to start funding more women and diverse teams, period. LPs need to fund more women VCs, who can establish new firms with new cultural norms. Stop funding partnerships that look and act the same. Most important, stop blaming everybody else for the problem or pretending that it is too hard for us to solve. It’s time to look in the mirror. This is an industry, after all, that prides itself on disruption and revolutionary new ways of thinking. Let’s put that spirit of innovation and embrace of radical change to good use. Seeing a more inclusive workforce in Silicon Valley will encourage more girls and women studying computer science now.
Emily Chang (Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley)
There is tremendous internal pressure to comply with the norms of the group. The reward of being accepted is often greater than the reward of winning an argument, looking smart, or finding truth.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
So now, contented indifference before Middlesbrough against Slovan Bratislava coexisted with a craving for an art in which violent, overwhelming, hysterical and destructive emotion was the norm; an art which seeks, more obviously than any other form, to break your heart. Here was my new social realism.
Julian Barnes (Levels of Life)
I don’t deny that a few Sicilians may succeed in breaking the spell, once off the island; but they would have to leave it very young; by twenty it’s too late: the crust is formed; they will remain convinced that their country is basely calumniated, like all other countries, that the civilized norm is here, the oddities are elsewhere.
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (The Leopard)
Here are examples of team norms and agreements: Treat others with respect Listen first to understand Strive to be open-minded and understand each other’s perspectives Practice empathy and put yourself in others’ shoes Give each other the benefit of the doubt Be accountable to the team Have fun and celebrate the wins
Shanda K. Miller (From Supervisor to Super Leader: How to Break Free from Stress and Build a Thriving Team That Gets Results)
Queer, in all senses of the word, is probably the best word to describe me. Queer is political. Queer is something “off the norm.” Queer is sexual and gender minorities. Queer rejects traditional sexual and gender identities. Queer is outside the bounds of normal society. Queer is breaking the rules for sex and gender. One can be queer and bi. For that matter, one can be queer and straight.
Robyn Ochs (Recognize: The Voices of Bisexual Men)
Years ago, when I was a young priest speaking at a Catholic men’s prayer breakfast in Cincinnati, I said, ‘What if the Gospel is actually offering us a win-win scenario?’ A well-dressed businessman came up to me at the break, and said in a very patronizing tone while drumming his fingers on the podium, “Father, Father! Win-win? That would not even be interesting!’ Perhaps he was just being consistent, as one whose entire worldview has been formed by sports, business deals, and American politics, instead of the Gospel. But over the years, I have come to see that he is the norm. The systems of this world are inherently argumentative, competitive, dualistic, based on a scarcity model of God, mercy, and grace. They confuse retribution-what is often little more than crass vengeance-with the biblically evolved notions of healing, forgiveness, and divine mercy.
Richard Rohr (The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For and Believe)
Meanwhile all the ideal aspects of human culture, including all values and norms, have become relegated to the subjective sphere, and truth itself has become in effect subsumed under the category of utility. Transcendence and symbolism out of the way, there remains only the useful and the useless, the pleasurable and the disagreeable. There are no more absolutes and no more certainties; only a positivistic knowledge and feelings, a veritable glut of feelings. All that pertains to the higher side of life-to art, to morality or to religion-is now held to be subjective, relative, contingent-in a word, 'psychological'. One is no longer capable of understanding that values and norms could have a basis in truth.
Wolfgang Smith (Cosmos and Transcendence: Breaking Through the Barrier of Scientistic Belief)
But the main reason Trump won the nomination—and later the general election—was simpler than any of that: he fit the times. Trump had explored running for president twice before, and the voters had shown little interest. This time around, he turned half the country’s unease and confusion about what was happening to America into a powerful political response. In his own way, he articulated the anger that many middle- and working-class Americans felt over the excesses and condescension of the Democratic Party, the coastal elites, and especially the mainstream news media. Trump had diagnosed a decisive divide in the nation: the alienation of average Americans from the increasingly smug and isolated elites that had mismanaged the country and appeared content to preside over a declining America. They felt the old-boy system in Washington had sold them out and that it was time to disrupt the system. Many ordinary Americans were especially sick of the radical progressives’ shrill disparagement of America and scornful attacks on traditional values, and they were deeply frustrated by the wildly partisan role played by the media. In short, in 2016 many voters felt like the character Howard Beale in the 1976 film Network: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Trump’s pugnacious style worked. These frustrated Americans found in him a fighter willing to punch back, go toe-to-toe with the press, and mount a full-throated defense of America and middle-class values. They were tired of the cooing doublespeak of professional politicians and wanted someone who would tell it like it is—straight from the shoulder—and someone willing to follow through and actually do what other politicians said they would do but never did. Trump’s combativeness also enabled him to break through the distortions and smothering hostility of the partisan media and talk right past them, straight to the American people. For many, supporting Trump was an act of defiance—a protest. The more over the top he was, the more they savored the horrified reaction of the elites, especially the media. Arguments that Trump wasn’t presidential missed the point. Trump’s supporters already knew he didn’t conform to presidential norms. Their question was: Where had presidential norms gotten them? They wanted someone who didn’t conform. The Left was taking a wrecking ball to the country. Many fed up Americans wanted to strike back with their own wrecking ball.
William P. Barr (One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General)
When traditional politicians break an important norm, their supporters turn on them, and their political standing suffers. But when celebrity leaders break an important norm, their fans don’t turn on the leaders; they turn on the norm. In fact, they rally to the leaders, whose standing often improves, at least in the fans’ eyes.
Moisés Naím (The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century)
While adapting perfectly to the preservation of these distinctions at an ideological level, neo-liberal rationality effects an unprecedented deactivation of their normative character. Dilution of public law in favour of private law; configuration of public activity to the criteria of profitability and productivity; symbolic devaluation of law as the specific act of the legislature; strengthening of the executive; prioritization of procedure; a tendency for police powers to break free of any judicial control; promotion of the 'citizen-consumer' responsible for arbitrating between competing 'political offers' - these are so many proven trends attesting to the depletion of liberal democracy as a political norm.
Christian Laval, Pierre Dardot
Humans aren’t rational. Information isn’t open to all. There are no “rules” of behavior, only norms and suggestions—and within certain broad constraints, anyone might break those norms at any point.
Maria Konnikova (The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win)
Consistency between Dionysos-type godforms is also demonstrated in five minor attributes, which fluctuate in degree depending upon the particular norms, standards, and values of a given culture. These attributes are: 1. Unsurpassed viciousness toward those who would harm the followers of the god. When this aspect of Dionysian godforms is aroused, they are what has been termed “Hunters of Men.” 2. These Deities are lawgivers who, very often, figure in literal or symbolic acts of human sacrifice, whether this sacrifice occurs because of the breaking of laws, as part of worship, or for the granting of special favors to a community at large. Paradoxically, these same godforms ultimately do away with all requirements for human sacrifice. 3. Such archetypes are portals between upper, lower, and middle worlds: Bridges between the realms of life and death, they are gatekeepers, or the companions of gatekeepers, and masters of altered states of being. 4. Godforms of this type are often portrayed as adherents or defenders of the divine feminine, and can often be found in the company of female worshippers, goddesses, or their own mates, without whom they are incomplete, and upon whom they rely in order to fulfill their multiple roles of Divine Child, Bridegroom, Father, Savior, and Reborn One. Sensuality, too, is a Dionysian trademark: This is usually a paradoxical sensuality, at once childlike and ravaging, remarkably androgynous yet undeniably masculine in its expression. 5. Bewitching is an acceptable description of Dionysos-syncretistic Deities; many are unsurpassed in the powers of discrimination, response, wisdom, healing, fertility, prophecy, and magic in general. When Dionysos was invoked or worshipped by the ancient Greeks for his command of the powers listed above, he was considered agathos daemon, or “the good demon”: Demons, to the pagan Hellenes, were not necessarily wholly evil forces of the kind espoused by the Christian faith. They were seen as demigods capable of bringing either wealth and happiness or pain and suffering to mankind, of appearing in any sort of theriomorphic form — including no form at all — and of interceding between the supreme godhead and mankind.
Rosemarie Taylor-Perry (God Who Comes, Dionysian Mysteries Reclaimed)
Islam has strong social aspects based around the concept of ummah – the community of believers – and expressions of individualism or nonconformity tend to be frowned upon. Members are expected to pull together and behave (at least in public) in ways that uphold its Islamic ethos. Thus, when someone breaks away from established norms – especially if they do so publicly – they are liable to be seen as damaging communal solidarity
Brian Whitaker (Arabs Without God: Atheism and freedom of belief in the Middle East)
Over time, staying in the comfort zone turns into a norm that you can no longer step out of. It’s like standing in wet cement. The longer you stay in there, the harder it becomes to break free.
Maxim Dsouza (How to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone: Stop procrastinating, become productive, get things done, and chase your goals (Lean Productivity Books))
Humanity wears the cloak of being rational and civilized. It is a sneering veneer developed, built and used to cope with the brutality of others’ agendas. But this is the cycle that destroys. It is a wheel that never stops turning once you get on it. To break this type of wheel—good intention, follow through and deep pauses are the tools of the crucibles in which we must testify against the norms created in this world. The first step is to speak up in the language or the voice that is your given right.
Reena Doss
Being countercultural isn’t about breaking rules for the sake of breaking rules... It's about changing cultural norms that harm those you lead.
Nick Chellsen (A Leader Worth Imitating: 33 Leadership Principles From the Life of Jesus)
All patriarchal systems subscribe to a set of moral norms. These can be: men should be bread winners, women should be stay-at-home mums; men should behave like gentlemen, women should not put out; men should be strong and not cry and so forth. Many mistakenly believe that these rules are patriarchal, but their moral rules themselves do not necessarily constitute oppression - had they really been applied. Differing roles are not in and of themselves a sign of oppression. What actually characterises patriarchal systems is the fact that men are free to break the rules, while women are punished both when they comply and when they resist.
Kajsa Ekis Ekman (On the Meaning of Sex: Thoughts about the New Definition of Woman)
In many ways, these social norms are the invisible rules that guide your behavior each day. You’re always keeping them in mind, even if they are not at the top of your mind. Often, you follow the habits of your culture without thinking, without questioning, and sometimes without remembering. As the French philosopher Michel de Montaigne wrote, “The customs and practices of life in society sweep us along.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones)
The rise of gig jobs is not a break from the norm as much as an extension of it, a continuation of corporations finding new ways to limit their obligations to workers. Platforms such as Uber, DoorDash, and TaskRabbit force their employees (sorry, their “independent contractors”) to assume more responsibility on the job—they must supply their own car, buy their own gas, cover their own insurance—while simultaneously subjecting those workers to heightened supervision.
Matthew Desmond (Poverty, by America)
The girl I lost became the girl I found inside stories where girls nearly die but then don’t, where girls with their hair on fire invent ways to save themselves, where girls who are incarcerated by family or violence or love or social norms break out of culture and into journeys no one has ever imagined before.
Lidia Yuknavitch (The Misfit's Manifesto (TED Books))
You cannot cling to the norm and desire innovation. You must think outside of the box to shake the table – possibly break it to pieces.
Vincent Okay Nwachukwu (Weighty 'n' Worthy African Proverbs - Volume 1)
But there is something to shake even that one, to shake us all as surely as if the ground beneath our feet began to tremble and break away. Change. In any honest analysis, change is the basis of fear, the idea of something new, of some paradigm that is unfamiliar, that is beyond our experiences so completely that we cannot even truly predict where it will lead us. Change. Uncertainty. It is the very root of our most primal fear—the fear of death—that one change, that one unknown against which we construct elaborate scenarios and “truisms” that may or may not be true at all. These constructions, I think, are an extension of the routines of our lives. We dig ruts with the sameness of our daily paths, and drone and rail against those routines while we, in fact, take comfort in them. We awake and construct our days of habit, and follow the norms we have built fast, solid, and bending only a bit in our daily existence. Change is the unrolled die, the unused sava piece. It is exciting and frightening only when we hold some power over it, only when there is a potential reversal of course, difficult though it may be, within our control. Absent that safety line of real choice, absent that sense of some control, change is merely frightening. Terrifying, even.
R.A. Salvatore (The Orc King (Transitions, #1; The Legend of Drizzt, #20))
I have been in many white racial justice groups wherein the participants expended much energy making sure people were kind and compassionate to each other and didn’t “break trust.” So much energy, in fact, that we could no longer help each other see our problematic patterns without breaking the norms of the group. So unless that kindness is combined with clarity and the courage to name and challenge racism, this approach protects white fragility and needs to be challenged.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Shattering the norms is not about anarchy; it's about audacity. It's about dancing to the rhythm of your own rule-breaking swagger, that bold defiance which elevates you from the common to the exceptional.
Donna Karlin (A League of Your Own: Discovering Your Distinctive Advantage)
A man crying is not an anomaly because men willingly and happily suppress emotions, but because they are expected to do so by society's norms. It is a part of ‘being a man’. Boys don’t cry, etc. Should a man decide to break down this wall and allow himself to be emotionally expressive — whether that’s in love, sadness, exhaustion, fear — he is considered to be something extraordinary.
Prachi Gangwani (Dear Men: Masculinity and Modern Love in #MeToo India)
it sheds light on timeless questions of historic importance—why do societies rise and fall?—and perhaps more pertinently, in times of chaos and upheaval, when the norms of existence collapse, who survives? Who does not?
Nicholas Morton (The Mongol Storm: Making and Breaking Empires in the Medieval Near East)