Only a months ago I found myself reluctant to pull a water bottle out of my bag in class due to the fact that my water bottle was shaped differently than everyone else’s water bottle. Looking back on this event, it was completely stupid of me to be so self conscious, but I didn’t want to be different than every other kid in my class. I had no desire to stand out – As does anyone else. I wanted the same shaped plastic water bottle that everyone else had, I LIKED the water bottle that everyone else had. Why did I like one water bottle, and feel completely self-conscious about the other?
Well… Welcome to our mimetic society.
The mimetic theory was first introduced by a very bright man named Rene Girard, and it states that humans imitate the desires of other humans. Anyone who can put 2 and 2 together would clearly be able to see that I’m smack in the middle of one of the most mimetic environments in the world – High School. One girl wears a new pair of shoes, and the next day EVERY girl is wearing those shoes. One guy wears his hair in a new style, and the next day EVERY guy has the same exact hairstyle. If you don’t follow the quickly changing mimetic tides of high school, then you quickly become a “recluse” in the hierarchal high school society.
The term “recluse” often has a negative connotation, but in terms of the mimetic theory I interpret it with quite a positively. Being an outcast to the mimetism prevents not only helps me avoid being a scapegoat, but it also allows for extensive observation that one within the cycle would never see. Taking the “Hit” and being an outcast to the general movements of society seems negative, but has such a positive long term effect because the person going with the flow will never know how to break the flow. The flow of society needs to be broken by more people, which will eventually (Hopefully) lead to a mass positive change in such a negative world.