Crowd think. It is natural for our species to wish to belong. There is great power that can be wielded for good and evil because of that need.
Peer pressure would be an example of bad. Also patriotism and religion have been known to use this basic human need to manipulate individuals into doing things contrary to positive actions for self.
We need to feel accepted and valued.
Yesterday's Roadside Philosopher's topic was, "What is your ultimate question?" We had many wonderful contributions but one question hit me as unique. "Can you hear me?"
"Can you hear me?" Lent itself to so many philosophical points. Am I a contributing part of a greater whole? Do I count? Am I valued? Have I communicated what I truly mean?
I watched (against my normal knee-jerk reaction to reality TV) the first part of Utopia. It was amazing how the first day everyone wanted to be heard, sometimes forcefully. One gal voiced disgust and repulsion voting negatively on the question of kicking out a rather vile, dominant male. But after agreeing to give him a second chance, he made the effort to actually listen to her and validate her thoughts and all of a sudden there was a connection. She was now accepting him.
Acceptance is very powerful.
One of my more powerful acceptance memories was not with humans. I was the owner of a small group of goats. Where I went they went. No need for force, leashes or corrals really. It did not even cross their minds to leave me. I was part of the herd. If we went for a walk and I stopped to rest, they stopped and rested. No communication needed. I still cry my eyes out at times when I reflect on leaving my herd to be sold when I returned to the city. Never have I been so totally trusted and accepted.
The Roadside Philosophers have my heart as well. We are the most eclectic group you will ever find, from all around the world, sharing our thoughts without attack.
There are those among us that are truly obnoxious with their beliefs. Many times we grind our teeth, while we again have to listen to the current topic be spun back into the individual's unique pet peeve. But we have learned to accept the people and sometimes marvel how they manipulate things back to their focus.
We have acceptance in the group. All thoughts are valued, questioned and brought back into our own minds at the level we wish. No one is forced to accept the thoughts, just the people who honestly express them.
That acceptance is what the Family Group use to offer us. Family has lost its cohesiveness in these modern days. People in the family are soon discarded and belittled if not of the same mindset. Divorce and mixed parental responsibilities bring contention.
We also no longer have the feeling of belonging to a "Village". The village was 'Where' you belonged. Now we move all over the place and even the government is seen as an interrupter of life vs the protector. So no wonder the need for acceptance has become so dominate.
We cloister ourselves with race, colour, sexual orientation, political parties, alumni, religion, seeking that feeling of belonging.
It is a need, but what if we opened it up to a wider construct? We are all humans. That probably won't happen until an alien race comes and tries to dominate. Only then will we bond together as family. Too bad we need such a contention to unite.
Try this week to express acceptance to someone of contrary opinions. Watch the change. It is an amazing transformation. You will be both astonished and uplifted.
Broadening your horizons will expand possibilities for your journey. Enjoy that journey.