PEER PRESSURE

Peer Pressure: ďPeer pressure refers to the influence exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms.Ē  Definition From Wikipedia.

"I am my own man".  "Peer pressure has never been a factor in the way I run my life".  "I don't care what anyone thinks, I have to go along with group".  Well, those of course are all pure lies.  Not even I can talk myself into believing them, and I can talk myself into believing almost anything I want.  Even today I find myself bowing to peer pressure.  Is that always bad?  Of course it isnít.  By definition, following the Ten Commandments is bowing to peer pressure.  Do I bow to peer pressure when it comes to the Ten Commandments all of the time?  I certainly donít, but I do try.  Usually however, following peer pressure, by its own nature, flies in the face of the Ten Commandments.

Peer pressure that we tend to hear of and talk about is rarely about good things.  Have you ever done things with a group of friends just to keep them as friends?  Let me answer that for you.  Yes.  Did you ever say no to a group of friends knowing that you might lose one or more of those friends?  I certainly hope so.

I have tried to think of negative peer pressures and have found that there are many.  I also have found that there are nearly as many positive as there are negative pressures.  Looking back at the peer pressures that have helped make me who I am, I find some are good as well as bad.  Although I am ashamed of most of the bad ones, I know that they were part of my becoming who I am today.  One can always learn from ones mistakes.

Without giving too much away of my own failures, I have decided to list some peer pressures that come to mind.  You may find that you do not agree with the way I think and that is good.  Thatís what my University is all about.  Learning to consider all sides and then come to your own conclusions.  I also intend to add to both columns of the following table as time goes by, and if you have input, please let me know.  CONTACT ME As you will see, some are actually adverse to others; where one group is negative, the polar opposite is positive.

BAD PEER PRESSURE

GOOD PEER PRESSURE

GOING ALONG WITH THE GROUP

GOING ALONG WITH THE GROUP

MAKING FUN OF SOMEONE OR SOME GROUP

 

RIDICULING SOMEONE OR SOME GROUP

 

REFUSING FRIENDSHIPS

BEFRIENDING SOMEONE AGAINST THE NORM

BREAKING A LAW, INCLUDING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

 

 

GO OUT FOR SPORTS JUST TO BE INCLUDED

RACISM, ANTI-SEMITISM

 

MAKING FUN OF ONES RELIGION

BEING A MEMBER OF A RELIGIOUS GROUP

SHUNNING DUE TO ONES SOCIAL OR MONETARY LEVEL

 

FOLLOWING FAMILY TRADITIONS

FOLLOWING FAMILY TRADITIONS

BECOMING SEXUALLY ACTIVE BEFORE MARRIAGE

NOT BECOMING SEXUALLY ACTIVE BEFORE MARRIAGE 

DRUGS, TOBACCO AND ALCOHOL

 

SWEARING

 

 

 

 

Now it is time for the teaching part.  My first thought is what the heck am I trying to do here?  I have involved myself in some of the above, both good and bad.  I will not say which ones with the exception of drugs; never did them.  I hold no ill towards anyone that did or still does, I just never did them, and believe me, the pressures were there.  I only add that fact due to the times in which I grew up.  The 1950ís and 60ís were really pretty tame in Cimarron.  It was a little worse in the year and a half I lived in California (1960-1962), but when I got to college that all changed.  I was so innocent that I thought all the things I was seeing werenít really what they were.  It was easy to fall prey to many pressures and I did my share. 

I know I have have hurt others by bending to peer pressure.  I am not proud of that fact, but I have tried to learn from those failures.  I have been very blessed in my life.  I have always tried to follow Good and fight Evil in my own feeble way.  I believe that although I have had many setbacks, I have been richly rewarded for doing so; and I am not talking about money.  I also believe that it is never too late to break the bonds of Evil and live oneís life for Good.  I do not want to bring religion into this more than the Ten Commandments, but I do think God is watching over us and has a plan for all of us.

Please search your soul.  Looking at your failures that came from following bad peer pressures is a good way to start.  Take responsibility for your actions.  Be honest with yourself.  There are always reasons you have failed; failed not only yourself, but also your friends and loved ones.   I know I have, and I continually try to fix those failings.  Those reasons however, are nothing but excuses.  Ultimately, it all comes down to you.  Be the person you know you should be, and know that in the end, everything will be OK.  If you give yourself a chance, you will find the peace and love for which we all strive.  God Bless.

Pete Thomas

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COMMENTS

If you cannot reach me by clicking on the "COMMENTS" link, please email me at cimarronkansas@hotmail.com with "Peer Pressure" in the subject line.

Definitely was a creature of peer pressure back when dirt was new.  Now?  Sure I am, just peers with better standards.   Jeff Borland 

You know my dear friend Jeff, I know that we all are "peer pressured" to some extent - and I like the way you stated yourself just now - with my aging process I do believe that I find myself standing alone on many issues and have no problem... with being a "loner". Sometimes - well to be honest probably almost daily - my coworkers call me a "brown nose" or "suck up" - why? You ask? cuz I will go to each of my 3 bosses officesí and ask each if they would like a cup of coffee - and/or try to say something nice to each and every customer (i.e.: oh that's a pretty ring, or nice hair color or whatever) - I could stop being the "nice" person Iím trying to be just to give in to them "peer pressuring" me to not be nice - but refuse to let their cheap words get to me. I just toss my head back and giggle and say " yep that's me, or you could say wow what a nice lady" - in a nutshell I, for one, have realized that I do not have to follow the crowd any more. Thank you Pete Thomas for letting me spout off.   Great topic my friend, and love jeffro's comment very much.  Jane Wehkamp Arthurs