We are creatures of a herd mentality believe it or not.
Whether our thinking is left or right, what religion we subscribe to, it doesn’t matter. The differences we have is more about common behaviors. We engage in some positive and some just plain ridiculous behaviors with our eyes wide open.
Last year for example we had a nationwide run on toilet paper when aside from panic buying there was no shortage. People equated COVID with a flu rather than a respiratory problem
Yes we agree in the majority we are a nation of laws even though we have contempt for a measure of them. We are sometimes like a wolf pack socially as evidenced in social interaction on facebook or gatherings at demonstrations and protests. There is a compassionate side when it comes to supporting children or those in need. We attend vigils born out of tragedy, we pay final respects together with decorum and dignity. We behave differently at sporting events, where despite our collective best efforts there is a small rowdy crowd caught up in the moment. Then there are times we practice a herd mentality when it comes to our financial and social behavior. Let me give you some examples.
When prices are good farmers all plant the same thing until the market is saturated and the price tanks. When word gets out everyone jumps on a stock tip over inflating the value for a time and the secret is knowing when to bail before its worthless paper. At present we are watching a housing bubble that will soon see many especially first time buyers drown in a sea of market correction. Another two herd problems are front and center. Vaccination vaccer’s and anti-vaccers as they’ve become known. Which herd will win? Despite all the rancor and debate the vast majority will roll up their sleeve. Get vaccinated and herd numbers will lead to ending the pandemic.
So what is the most significant thing mankind has learned or not learned?
There are those who lead and those who follow, and followers and leaders change places depending on life’s circumstances. The only way to avoid some of the pitfalls is for each person to learn how to learn. That is important, it’s is top of the instruction manual for free thinking souls who don’t want to just follow the herd. Then there are times when it is most appropriate to follow. The key is knowing the difference between proactive and reactive, and which measure is required in a given set of circumstances.