As I continue reading about Male Mysteries, I can't help but realize that both men and women have been conditioned by society to follow a certain set of standards. Women are supposed to be passive, weak, and fragile while men are supposed to be strong, aggressive and show no emotions. These rules were set in the past based on what people were experiencing. In the book "Fire in the Belly - On Being a Man" by Sam Keen, he mentions that men have been conditioned by the fact that they are not able to create from their bodies like women can so they try creating technology and artificial things to feel like they can create as well. He also mentions that women's rites of passage are natural and marked by natural processes in our bodies such as being born, menstruation, motherhood, and then menopause while men rites of passage are determined by time and the rules of the tribe. In some cultures, in order to become a man, the boy needs to go into the forest and kill a dangerous animal. That situation will probe that he is a man. These rites are designed to mark the passage from boyhood to manhood and to become part of the tribe and lose the person's individuality. Everyone goes through the same rite, every man does the same and in doing so, he may lose himself and become part of the tribe. The question remains on who came up with the set of characteristics one needs to have to be a man or a woman. Who decided what makes a person a man or a woman? Can't those people get it all wrong? It seems that at times we are supposed to be all the same and fit one set of standards but in doing so we forget those things that make us unique. Not everyone likes vanilla ice-cream, some people like chocolate, some people like cherry... It is time to define ourselves by our own standards and not by the standards that society has conditioned us to believe we need. There are not two people alike in this world and although they may have led us to believe we are all the same, like machines, in the core we are not. The other day I was swimming in the pool and I noticed that I was the only one swimming differently. Everyone else was swimming the same way but I was different. This situation made me realize I am proud of being unique, I don't need to follow the crowd, I am my own person. I can be different, I can be bold, I can be unique and that's ok because in that uniqueness, I bring something to this world that nobody else brings. If we were all to be ourselves and let go of all conditioning, I think the world would be a better place to live. People would be happier, healthier, and stronger because they would not have to pretend they want what society says they should want, they would just do what they want to do and are born to do. Think about it. Society does not want to allow people that type of freedom because if you are free, you can not be controlled. It is easier to control people who all feel the same because they are conditioned to do so. Be brave! Be bold! Be who you were born to be and not the one that they conditioned you to be!