Let's discuss choice and social acceptance. I had the most interesting conversation the other day with a friend at a coffee shop. I was working on a quote and read it out loud and then we discussed it for hours. First here is the quote:
"It is interesting how many groups, religions, teams, military organizations, etc. offer: "Social Acceptance" all in trade for you giving up your ideals, thoughts, personal observations and dreams."
This of course later after the conversation had two qualifiers.
First; You actually have to have formed ideals, thoughts, personal observations and dreams (Many perceive they have formed such, but in reality are brainwashed like the masses through media bombardment and the nurturing within the false land of political correctness. These poor souls have merely convinced themselves that they believe rhetoric which has been purported as fact throughout the history of mankind).
Second; The person must be somewhat similar to the others already in the group in various attributes. (for instance a black person cannot join the KKK, even if he were to agree with there premise and a Jewish person cannot join a NEO-Nazi group. A skinny person cannot join an organization of Line Backers and a Chinese person cannot join the Mayflower Society). This is because mankind in order to form social groups usually picks enemies that in turn bond the group together in a common cause. Such enemies are predetermined by the group and continually change through a gang mentality, which mankind is all to good at promoting when it serves a group they wish to control.
Now then when discussing these observations we had some other thoughts.
With such a set of choices for an enlightened individual, why bother joining any group at all? Why would you join any group that would have you as a member? Which indeed is an excellent question. If you are willing to give up your values, views and observations in trade for joining simply to be socially accepted then perhaps you are unworthy as an individual to give much to the group except numbers which increase the power of the leaders. If most groups amongst the human species are set up in such a fashion it would appear that belonging to no groups is could in fact be a greater noble calling. So then the character of the followers of the most benevolent of organizations may not be noble at all. Giving up one's self seems to be a waste of a very large cranial cavity and potential brain capacity which mankind has available for cognitive reasoning. This is why we say it is "very interesting" how many of these clubs, religions, groups require blind following and even more interesting how many people are willing to deny their own observations, beliefs and dreams to satisfy the innate characteristic need of belonging, social acceptance and respect from their fellow man.
Obviously mankind is a social animal, which means we naturally form groups and work with each other for the benefit of the group. Maslow in his comments would agree that such a need of man is so great that they would follow into a death march, just to belong. Muslim suicide bombers comes to mind. Life itself and the essence of all we are while we are here is in jeopardy is all but wasted when we fail to question authority and blindly follow those who use our human needs against us. We also took into consideration Gangs in inner cities, kids doing drugs from peer pressure, accountants cheating to belong to a company, etc. In about an hour we came up with about 40 examples, which seemed to correspond to most of societies major current issues and problems. In the franchising industry, we believe one should keep the local community atmosphere and local feel, without having to give up their values, dreams, ambitions, self or observations.
It would behoove people to join groups to solve the needs of the human spirit that do not require one to give up their value system, dreams, aspirations, principles, personal belief system based on real observations. Any group of the sort does not serve humankind or its participants and certainly not those who become enemies of the group or are used as something to be against. We as a species ought to get along and understand that the problem is in the way we form social groups. The problem is not the fact that humans do form groups, that is clearly innate and possibly the reason that our branch of upright walking homo sapiens was the one which got this far in the first place. There appears to be some needs out there for us to continue in this tradition so we must think about what we are doing, who we are doing it with, what we have to give up to belong before we give away the greatest gift in trade. Choose both. Choose a group, which fulfills your needs as a human being and a groups or groups, which do not require your giving up your individuality or mind. After all this is a free country, soon to be a free world and we are granted freedom of choice, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of thought and it is worth all we have sacrificed to date. Something to think about. That is all for Coffee Shop Philosophy today. Any ideas along this theme, please post them below.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs