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Recently, when I googled “going against the grain,” this is what first appeared: “When you make life more difficult by acting against the wishes of others.” 

I was surprised by this Urban Dictionary definition of the expression because of the negative connotation. For me, “going against the grain” can also represent a positive process that is essential to one’s journey and personal growth.

For example, we are conditioned and trained when we are born to act within our societal norms, which I believe is important and essential. After all, without society, we are not complete. Yet, this is assuming that one’s culture is aware of its own acute behaviors and patterns, and that those inherent norms are not dangerous or unhealthy.

When individuals are deciding on their own paths, it is not only important but crucial in their development to be true to themselves. It is important to consider that all of our actions exist to support not only our truth, but society as a whole in the bigger picture. Therefore, “going against the grain” can be seen as a positive action in the process of questioning our evolving society norms. By questioning, we can find a sense of enlightenment and illuminate truths that we did not understand before and thus can bring positive awareness and change.

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