Moral Rebels
Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bombay [now Mumbai], writer, mathematician, philosopher, and ardent nationalist, died August 1, 1920, who helped lay the foundation for the independence of India by building into a national movement his own defiance of British rule. In February, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah voted to convict President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of authority, becoming the first senator ever to vote in an impeachment trial against the president of his own party.

Captain America standing up against his own team in the movie “Captain America :the civil war” All these people spoke up, even in the face of tremendous pressure to remain quiet, to point out bad behaviour. Although the particulars of each of these cases are very distinct, a desire to take action is what each of these individuals share.


Psychologists like me classify those who are able to protect their values in the face of potentially harmful social repercussions such as rejection, ostracism and career failures as moral rebels. In all sorts of cases, moral rebels speak up telling a bully to cut it out, to challenge a friend who uses a racial insult, to expose a colleague engaged in corporate fraud. What encourages anyone, even though doing so might have costs, to point out misbehavior?

The attributes of a moral rebel Firstly, in general, moral rebels feel confident about themselves. They tend to have high self esteem and trust their own judgement, beliefs, and ability. They also think that their own thoughts are superior to those of others, so that they have a social obligation to share those views. Moral rebels are also less inhibited socially than others. They are not concerned about feeling awkward or having an uncomfortable relationship. Perhaps notably, maybe, they are much less worried with conforming to the crowd. 

So, they would generally want to do what they see as right when they have to choose between fitting in and doing the right thing. Neuroscience research shows that the capacity of people to stand up to external influence is expressed in anatomical brain differences. In one specific region of the brain, the lateral orbitofrontal cortex, individuals that are more worried with fitting in have more Gray matter volume. This region right behind your eyebrows generates memories of incidents that contributed to negative outcomes. 

It helps lead you away from stuff like being rejected by your party that you want to stop the next time around. In two other brain regions, people that are more concerned with conforming to their group also exhibit more activity; one that reacts to social discomfort, like when you encounter rejection, and another that seeks to understand the thoughts and feelings of others. In other words, when rejected by their party, those who feel worse try the hardest to fit in.

What does this mean for moral rebels? For certain people, it feels very bad to feel like you are different from anyone else, even at a psychological stage. It does not mean as much to other individuals, which makes it easier for them to stand up to social scrutiny. The way of a moral rebel What does it require for a moral rebel to be made? It helps to see moral bravery in motion.  Watching individuals, you look up to display moral bravery will motivate you to do the same. 

Also, a budding moral insurgent wants to experience empathy, imagining the world from the viewpoint of someone else.  Spending time with individuals from various backgrounds and really getting to know them helps to see people from different minority groups in more supportive ways. Individuals who are more sympathetic are also more likely to protect someone who is being bullied. Eventually, moral rebels need specific abilities and experience using them. 

One study showed that, using rational arguments instead of complaining, pressure or insults, teens who held their own in a confrontation with their mother were the most resistant to social pressure to use drugs or alcohol later on. And why? People who have mastered making efficient claims and sticking under pressure with them are better able to use their colleagues with these same strategies.

Moral rebels obviously have unique features that encourage them to stand up for what is right. But what about the majority of us? Are we doomed to be the passive spectators who stand by meekly and dare not point out bad conduct? No, fortunately. The ability to stand up to social pressure can be established. Anyone should, in other words, learn to be a moral rebel.

Author- Rtr. Megha Ranjan
Club- Rotaract Club of Dumdum Metropolitan
RID- 3291

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