Those of us who’ve experienced the power of politics, religion, media and peer influence also know that they are indirect but powerful. Every group has its set of behaviours to which members have to conform to and there are often consequences of deviating from these norms.
Today’s reflection on living deliberately looks in to the ambivalent nature of these four soft forces since we must face them while leading our lives to reach our goals.
One is usually too weak on their own hence need to be part of a pack. In one way or the other, we are all part of one or more human groupings and communities. The pack could be your family, a club, a professional association, a gang, a corporate body, a political party, a football team etc. Identifying with a group gives you a sense of identity and belonging, rewarding you with the sense of pride to be associated with a community.
Since you are part of one or more human groupings, you ought to have a clear understanding of why you are there and what you hope to achieve through the group. If not, you will be swayed by the group dynamics – you will become a flag that sways in whatever direction the wind pushes it. You will be a stream of water that merely goes with the gradient but not in any particular direction.
There is politics that plays within a group of people and it affects us whether we like it or not. Every grouping will have a leader, an antagonist to the leader, an activist within the group, a potential traitor even if by blackmail and other peculiar characters. They all have their interests actively at play within the group.
With social and mass media serving as tools that promote the group dynamics, leaders and influencers can either empower the group to stick closer together or be divided and weak. In the event of the group’s common interests being under threat, leaders and influencers can also spur a ‘we-versus-them-syndrome,’ inspiring group members to stand for and defend the group’s identity and interests.
Therefore, lead your life to reach your goals; live deliberately.Joshua Munywoki