On Rebels

Non-conformity is hard. Yet, we all rebel in our own ways

Hemant Kulkarni
2 min readDec 13, 2023

When everyone around us does something, there is tremendous pressure on us to conform to the majority and engage in that action. Even if it means sticking your hand in a glove full of ants, which, I’ve heard, is excruciating. This phenomenon ensures that the tribe stays together, and non-conformists are summarily punished. The more significant the rebellion, the harsher the punishment. Usually, this would result in banishment from the tribe, probable death, and removal from the gene pool.

Even in the modern world, devoid of the constant threat of death, we observe similar behavior in different societies across continents. Rebels are looked down upon, subjected to punishment, and at the very least, faced with a barrage of taunts for whatever they seem to rebel against.

However, rebelling is good. Because if a rebel is wrong, only he or she has to pay the price. However, if the rebel is right, then the whole of humanity benefits from it. It should be encouraged. But, by definition, it won’t be.

Here’s a quote on this topic: ‘The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.’ — George Bernard Shaw”