I got a bone to pick. First let me start by saying hi and peace to all of you. I mentioned in one of my previous posts that I was getting bored with the direction of this blog, so naturally it faded to the background of my mind. I don’t know how frequently I’ll be posting in the future but I should be back (maybe). This post today will be about my thoughts on groupthink.
Groupthink is defined as the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility. I’ve always been one to kinda go against the grain, but I didn’t always feel comfortable doing so. When those around are all interested in the same thing(s), it’s hard to be the odd one out. In my adult life I’ve learned to remedy this by simply ignoring the differences if they aren’t major. Usually this comes in handy when meeting new people. I try to keep conversation general and make an effort not to divulge my own personal opinions on things unless I’m explicitly asked. This helps me not bump heads with people who aren’t generally willing to have intellectual discussion but would rather argue until they feel I’ve surrendered to their frame of thought. How does this relate to groupthink? Here’s an example. Everyone knows the easiest way to start a debate is to bring up these two things; religion and politics. Plain and simple. Statistically speaking, many people I come in contact with are all the same when it comes to these. The mindset is fixed and narrow, close to the point of ignorance. As an esteemed intellectual myself, it’s fairly easy to point out the characteristics of those who are subjected to groupthink. It’s like watching sheep follow a blind shepherd. No one knows where they’re going but no one cares enough to stop and think about what is going on. As you can imagine, the sheep and the shepherd will end up in danger. Who is to blame, the sheep or the shepherd? Every individual should be responsible for their own actions. Yes, the shepherd led the sheep. Yes, the sheep followed the blind shepherd. If even one of those sheep had thought “hmmm this doesn’t seem right.” he could have challenged the rest of the herd to activate their own mental power. Mind you, only the shepherd was blind in the example.The point I’m trying to make here is this; use your own brain. No one knows absolutely everything, not even you. It’s fine to look to others for explanations and answers. It’s not okay to be dependent on what other people say. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right. Critical thinking is not just used in English class. Apply it to your everyday life, it’ll make you feel better about your decisions in the end.