"Conform and be dull."
James Frank Dobie
(1888-1964) Teacher, storyteller, folklorist, historian
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- alice      
It is possible to conform and not be dull. Conform to what? There is a wide variety of situations and environments, so that it is very possible to conform and be wild, depending upon where one happens to be spending his time. And conformity to reasonable standards does not mean to become a mindless robot. Of course, some are compelled not to conform out of a perverse need to rebel.
 -- David L Rosenthal     
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
    Conformity IS dull - as is David's response
     -- Liz, Atlanta     
    As a rhetorical statement it has value, it means no more no less - though in my opinion it means if you conform along with the mass and popular opinion, when it is not your true nature. We all conform on a daily basis to things we would otherwise do differently - it's a matter of degree and integrity. Peer pressure and employment are both examples conforming against ones will - pear pressure to be popular or part of the gang and employment to keep your job - when you have mouths to feed you are under pressure to conform. Though I believe James Dobie is referring more to the ignoble in us.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    ... and one step closer to being a slave.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Conform to whatever our government suggests, without any proof it is effective. Ex: Submit to being searched at the airport, though no terrorists have been caught (though they may have found some weed and dangerous tweezers). Ex: Tap your phone or search your home without a warrant, though the 4th Amendment prohibits it. Ex: Pay taxes, though not even the IRS can cite the code making you liable to pay. To open his eyes, Rosenthal (and Reston) would need to admit he is sleeping while our government is doing the unconstitutional and destroying the country. Being a liberal-socialist, Rosenthal can't help but play dumb and ask "What country?" Answer: The United States.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    What has any of this to do with the quote, Joe? And on what do you base your assessment that I am a socialist? Are you mad?
     -- David L Rosenthal     
    We may not agree with each others comments but let's not get name-calling let's respect each others right to freedom of expression.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    Some people are obnoxious for its own sake, which neither contributes anything to the discusiion nor should be permitted. My comments have been edited out for far less venom than that used here by Joe. I would like to know why my comments are edited out, but those of others left, when their malicious intent and antisocial nature is plain to see.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
    You asked, "Conform to what?" I gave examples how our government expects you to conform without question. Assessing you are a socialist (and liberal) is based on your remarks to this and previous quotes. Ex: You think anyone is entitled to welfare and expect everyone else to pay for it. That's socialism! No one is "entitled" to welfare, yet our liberal-socialist government pays anyway. Am I mad, as in crazy? No. You mean angry with the abuses of our government (i.e. the Patriot Act, taxes, illegal phone tapping and surveillance, war on drugs, war in Iraq, etc.)? Definitely. Are you NOT outraged?
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    Nice debate. May we suggest, however, attacking the argument instead of the person. Thank you.
     -- Editor, Liberty Quotes     
    I think it's more important to express yourself than it is to "conform and be dull," even if society expects conformity. If, however, a person's individual beliefs coincide with the rest of society's, than by all means conform. Also, Joe, I don't think anyone likes the Patriot Act.
     -- Anonymous     
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