It only recently occurred to me, while preparing this address, how totally absurd this whole charade was.
It reminded me that oftentimes we do all sorts of silly things to avoid appearing different.
Conforming happens so naturally that we can forget how powerful it is
we want to be accepted by our peers -- we want to be a part of the group. It's in our biology.
But the things that make us human are those times we listen to the whispers of our soul
and allow ourselves to be pulled in another direction.
Conformity is so fascinating and so pervasive that it has been studied for a very long time.
See, it turns out there are two things that can dramatically reduce conformity in a group setting.
The first is a single dissenting voice, and the second is the ability to communicate privately with other members of the group
Our government gives us the right to privacy and the right to express ourselves freely in the hope that we might mitigate conformity.
Democracy wasn't designed to promote popular thought. It was architected to protect dissent.
For, as President Kennedy said, "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth."