Breaking norms

The first norm that I broke was done at a busy street downtown. I was with my friend to help me evaluate the reaction of the people around me when I was doing the thing. I planned to execute the “breaking norm activity” during rush hour so that I would be able to get good reactions since many people are walking the busy street. As my friend and I arrived at the busy street, I lied down like a dead person at the middle of the street where hundreds of people are passing by. As soon as I lied down, a woman at my back was frightened that I just automatically feel down in front of her.

However, she had soon recovered from her shocked reaction when I smiled at her and continued what I am doing. Many people had bumped each other so that they would not step on me. I was surprised that even though I laid there like a silly man, several people still considered me since they had been very careful not to step on me. The lying down like a silly man or even like a dead man continued for almost thirty minutes. For half an hour, I already created a secluded part in the middle of the busy street. I even extended for another thirty minutes of lying down at the busy street.

It was then a woman together with a five-year old kid passed by. Maybe out of curiosity of the five-year-old boy, he came back to where I am lying. He was holding an ice cold coca-cola can. He tried to touch me and waited for my reaction. When I tried to ignore him and have not responded to his touch, he desperately touched my hand with the ice-cold cola he was holding. I was shocked that I shouted ouch! to the boy. He was frightened in just a couple of seconds but had recovered when her mother approached her already.

I felt sorry for the kid but I pretended that I do not have any reaction to what happened. I even have heard the mother talking to her child. She said that next time, do not talk to strangers or do not ever approached anyone especially if the person feels like stupid or the person is like a mentally disturbed one. I chuckled to the thought that I looked like a mentally disabled person. For one hour of lying there in the middle of the street I have realized that some people are still (“Breaking Norms) (“Page # 2)

considerate of the people around them whereas some people also are frightened of the consequences that stupid or mentally disabled people can do to their children. I have also realized that children are keen observer and they always do something to get attention from the people around them. The second activity I have done for breaking the norm was in the beach. Over the weekends, I went to a popular beach to execute my assignment. As I arrived to the beach, I surveyed the area and the first thing I secured is the presence of lifeguards.

I saw three lifeguards visible at their posts securing that everything is fine in the water. Then I estimated that people in the beach doing their own activities are quite enough for me get attention. As I have secured everything that I need for the success of the activity, I ran to the water and went to the part where the water level is just below my shoulders. The tides were small and it is not dangerous for me to act as if I am drowning. I can swim well so that if my plan will not work I will be able to save my own self. I acted even more by raising my hands and really pretended that I am drowning.

At the count of three, I heard someone near me shouting for help. Help! Help! Someone is drowning! Then immediately, a couple of the beach goers helped me to get near the shore. When my lifesavers and I were half way to the shore, the lifeguards arrived. It was then when I realized that lifeguards on that beach are not that fat to rescue if ever there are problems on the water. One of the lifeguards asked me if I am just fine or I need some medicine or first aid to keep me calm. I said that I am just fine and thanked them. I also thanked the couple who saved my life.

I sat down at the shore and watched the people on the water. I have observed that for almost five to ten minutes, there is tension in the water. The children went on the shore to observe, the same thing as what I did. The parents or the adults have also observed somehow to make sure that the water is safe for them to enjoy swimming. The norm that I had just done is sociologically (“Breaking Norms) (“Page # 3) inappropriate since I have ruined the day of those swimmers. They somehow had a frightened reaction because of what happened.

The incident also created a realization in my part that lifeguards were not the first to rescue in scenarios like that. I hope that I was only mistaken. Social norms when broken sometimes require some punishment from authorities. The punishment will depend upon how heavy was the action or mistake done (Asbourne). Reference: Ashbourne, Craig. “The Punishment for Breaking Norms or Trans-Phobia”Swimming Against the (Main)stream Current (2007). 11 June 2007 < http://swimmingagainstthemainstream. blogspot. com/2007/02/punishment-for-breaking- norms-or-trans. html>

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