August 3, 2016 – Group Thinking
“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) German philosopher
Perhaps it’s easier to abdicate one’s responsibility when there are many others in the group with you, but whatever the reason(s), it seems to be the rule that, ultimately, institutions–even the ones we belong to–tend to get crazy. Does the lowest common denominator prevail?
So occasionally it is necessary to review the groups to which we belong, formally or informally, and make sure they still represent what we believe and practice.
Perhaps take a hour or so this week for some quiet time or even a discussion with a loved confidant, to review your groups; any craziness that you don’t want to associate with? Moved to act in some way? Maybe scan the horizon for a new group that fits you better?
Our membership in groups tends to become part of our unexamined assumptions, part of life’s expected landscape that easily escapes our attention. And, to go against the group takes courage.
As a start, simply name to yourself all the groups to which you belong, or are an explicit or assumed member.