You Are What You Eat
I'm a bit of a chameleon. I tend to take on the colours of whatever background I find myself against. I pick up the mannerisms of people I spend all my time with, attract fads like a lightning rod, and live the zeitgeist as if I'm popular culture personified.
This isn't really a thing I'm proud of, or aim for; it's just the way I'm wired, and a pretty useful survival tactic. Unfortunately, there's a dark side to it.
I hate the way I feel too embarrassed – embarrassed! – to stop and help someone push their car along the road. I hate that my first instinctive and unconscious response to free or used is a kind of sneering shame, or that I respond to discarded with disgust. I hate that I'm one of those closed, unsmiling faces on the street. I hate that all my immediate, visceral reactions are entirely corrupt and backwards, and that, all too often, I'm too weak to overcome them. And even when I do overcome my instincts, I hate that it takes so. much. effort.
For all my convictions, I'm a coward in the face of culture. You want to see what social norming does to a person? I'm your guy.