Thursday, 10 December 2015

Assimilation

At some point in a Louisiana Tech University social sciences class....I had a professor bring up "assimilation" for the first time in my life.  It was one of those night classes that you sipped through a fair amount of Mountain Dew and tried to stay focused.  Someone in the class asked for a definition and the professor said it in a simplistic way.....the majority of a society act this way, and you try to copy that behavior to show you are part of that society.

The definition stuck in my mind.

Twenty years ago.....Star Trek introduced the Borg and assimilation went to another level.  The Borg always wanted you to perform at highly efficient levels, without a lot of emotion or Shakespeare-like drama.  In their vision of things.....it wasn't a optional thing to assimilate.....you were on their team, period.

In recent days after the San Bernardino shooting episode....there's bit a lot of talk about the guy involved and his 'wife'.  After reading through probably forty different news sources.....I've come to the opinion that this guy just never assimilated to the bare minimum necessary....to survive or flourish in America.

In his mind.....he was somewhere else.....in a fantasy-like creation.  There were numerous virgin babes reserved for warriors.....a 7th century conflict in full-bloom....a continual struggle between the forces of good and evil.....and consent given to murder just about anyone for any reason.

Oddly, this guy was able to reach out.....use the internet for the purpose of finding a wife....and found someone who was just as unassimilated as himself.  It was a happy couple theme.....total belief in this fantasy world and unable to function in reality.

From the twenty-two years I was in the Air Force.....I had various opportunities to come across various characters from different walks of life....who could not assimilate into the military, it's rigid rules, or work in a team-like environment.  Some faked it enough that they'd made it five to ten years in, and then screw up enough to be noted as not part of the big picture.  They were 'let-go'.....for legal wording that the Air Force found acceptable for their discharge.

I worked with a guy who had a young airman in his shop.....whose behavior came to be questioned.  For several months....people came and went....noting that the kid wasn't assimilated and he was behaving like a juvenile with issues (the description of a 12-year-old kid came up on numerous occasions).  One day, the commander had enough and it took less than ten days for the unit to wrap up paperwork and send the kid (over 2.5 years wasted in the Air Force) back home.

I'm all for people having whatever religion makes them happy and upbeat.  My general exception is that you need to take your attitude, religion, and lifestyle into this 'room', and assimilate enough to be around people of varying attitudes, religions, and lifestyles.  If you can't function like that.....you need to be elsewhere.  Maybe Mexico.....maybe Saudi Arabia.....maybe some island in the Pacific.  It's not my job to wonder about that second location....my priority is that you just need to leave for a place that fits your ability to assimilate.

So, this brings me to all the problems that one might find in America.  You need to be able to function around atheists, Christians, Mormons, Jews, Mexicans, Chinese, Cubans, gays, LGBTs, Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party enthusiasts, farmers, pot-smokers, NRA folks, radicals, environmentalists, Texans, and crazy New Yorkers.  If you think that assimilating to that degree is impossible.....just open up a map and find some place that fits.  Don't worry about your language, or money situation, or stability.....just find one place that you can assimilate and find yourself accepting of others.

The bottom line is that you need to be part of a class, culture, society, or community where your kind can all fit.  And if you found after a while that things are fairly screwed up in this new place you settled upon.....you might want to ask yourself.....what made things in this new place so screwed up?  Maybe....perhaps.....conceivably.....it was your religion?  If so.....does that say something?

You might want to sit a while and ponder over that.

No comments: