Group think: Can we ever escape it?

I was speaking on this topic in an article the other day. We as a society tend to follow trends. Even if our initial thinking was to avoid or abstain from one trend or another, it quickly becomes difficult. Society is built on the very basis of conformity. We can all get along better if we agree. This same mentality that works towards our aid and comfort can be destructive when perpetuated on the masses as an ideological doctrine. Questioning and defiance have their place in society, even if we tend to look down upon it.

Some of the greatest changes in our history have come from men and women who did not conform. When Galileo said the earth was not the center of the universe and that it rotated around the sun, the church was enraged by this. He dared to challenge the idea that everything was set in motion with the aid and comfort of man in mind. He is just one example.

When the Internet was created it shocked the world. Suddenly you could talk to people close by without a phone, and then farther and farther away. It revolutionized communications globally. At first people said it was the invasion of the government and it would bring about the new world order.  Bill Gates was accused of being  the right hand man of Satan, my understanding is that Dr. Dawkins has kindly taken over that job now, but the religious were terrified of the Internet, and where it would lead. Now it is used by them as a message board to, time after time, predict the end of the world.

Conformity works when it gives the best opportunity to everyone within the group. It fails when it subdues free thinking, change, and new directions of thought. Dr. Einstein once denied the validity of Quantum mechanics, yet today we are moving forward and proving that it works. It has been proven that there is more to be found in the universe than we comprehend at this time.

Discoveries like this take nurturing of independent thinking, even Steve Jobs had to step outside the boundaries of the average college courses and explore. We should take that as a challenge to our selves. As much as group think can be beneficial it can also cause stagnation. Once the stagnation of society sets in, then we quickly see descent. Governments often try to subdue this, but it is the nature of the human being. Change is a necessity, and so is diverging from group thinking.

Some of the greatest artists like Leonardo DaVinci were considered outsiders. They did not think like many of the general public of the time. A lot of artists have been extreme and outlandish, or down right mean. Yet they have all thought of perspectives we missed, and they have given us inventions and works that astounded and changed our lives.

Men who found microbes, and the telescope, and vaccines, the modern creation of medicine. All of this took thinking beyond what society knew and challenging the ideas that existed at the time. If Quantum Mechanics has taught us anything, it is that everything is possible. All we have to do is look beyond others thinking. We have to see just beyond the horizon. We have to dream beyond the possible, and make it happen. This it s the future. We can not just fall prey to group think and let imagination die. But we must work hard to keep those who see life from dangerous perspectives, to us, alive and going.

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