Against convention: rethinking choice and desire

I grew up thinking there were strong social conventions of how we are “supposed” to think, feel, and act in life.

I accepted the common dichotomy that most people are just “asleep”, going along with the herd. And since I felt out of place, that life was not for me.

But this is a false dichotomy.

Reexamining it in terms of genuine desires arising from contrast, there is nothing inauthentic about people’s desires, simply because those desires are shared by many others.

Other people are either aligned with their desires or not aligned. Just because I don’t share a particular, common, desire doesn’t mean I should dismiss it as unenlightened or merely conventional or somehow inferior.

Someone desiring an “ordinary” life and obtaining it should be celebrated, not derided. And if I stop judging the conventional, then I’m free to evaluate it on its own terms, take what I want and leave what I don’t.

After all, if we disdain conventions as conventions, we are just beholden to our own private convention.

Looking again at the world around me, who exactly fits these conventions anyway? All I see are people following or resisting their own desires, creating their realities through their thoughts and focus.

The fact that a desire is popular and shared by many (like a desire for a nice house, for a relationship, for friends, family, Holidays and so on) should not be a judgement upon it anymore than we should judge unconventional desires simply because they are unpopular.

Tiny-house movement

At least one Canberran is cutting back on the terrifying burden of mortgage debt by building himself a tiny, trailer-mounted house:

“The typical tiny house is built on a trailer – to get around legal and planning constraints – putting the maximum width at 2.5 metres,” he said.

“Usually people have a loft with a bed to maximise the available space.

“Most people have a mini kitchenette, and the contentious bit, that everybody is horrified by, is quite often a tiny house will have a composting toilet because you can’t easily hook the house up to sewerage.”

Mr Clapham said his solution to that problem would be a separate, very Australian, outhouse.

You can see more tiny house related material here and here. Personally I would like to have a much bigger house, but either way it’s going to be unconventional…


dtcwee is not overly impressed, noting that the Canberran’s exotic life choice is dependent on the good-will of wealthy boomer parents.

quoth dtcwee – “Ah the 1970s, when people dumb enough to overlook the effect of construction on resale value could still afford property. The ’80s called. They want their granny flats back.”