Author Kyle Perkins

People like being herded

Warning: If you are religious, deeply political, or easily triggered, please don’t read.

One thing that I have noticed during my time on Earth, are the people that inhabit it(can’t miss them, right?), and how different they are. Not to say that I’m special, or hold any key or answers to life. I’m just stumbling through aimlessly like the rest of you, but the thing that bothers me about people, are the ones that are so certain in their aim, agenda, and goals. The ones that are so certain that they are right, and everyone else is wrong. See: Pretty much everyone.

People, though they often are not fond of being compared to herd animals, they are in fact, herd animals. Everyone is simply trying to find their place in the world, not realizing they already have a place, they’re just not content with it. Everyone is always looking for something better, which is admirable, we should strive for better things, and a better world to live in, however, large swathes of people already believe they are living in their best reality, and are better than everyone else.

People flock to groups, and quickly form a pecking order. This happens in every aspect of life, whether it’s work, hobbies, or even just groups of people on something as mundane as Facebook. People always want to be better than everyone else, even if they have personally done nothing worthwhile to achieve this. See: Racism. If a group of people form, the ones that look differently than everyone else are singled out as “worse,” meaning that when it’s a large group of white people, and there is a few black people, the black people get the shit end of the stick. If there are no black people, fear not! Races will hate on whatever the darkest shade is. See: India and Asia.

For most people, it’s just about being “better,” whatever the fuck that means. In politics, conservatives see liberals as whiny crybabies, and liberals see conservatives as loud mouth “they took er jobs,” rednecks. Even in football, people will always go for their home team and promote it, even if all logic says their team is dog shit, it’s “the best,” simply because it’s a representation of the city they live in, which, is obviously the best also.

Even every religion is based in the fact that they are right, including atheists. Everyone else is wrong, and the people following their dogmas are in the know, and “better,” than all of the other ignorant souls around them. Shit, even people with certain jobs look down on other people that have jobs that they deem “unworthy,” of their acknowledgement. McDonald’s workers look down on the homeless, construction workers look down on McDonald’s employees, and people that work on Wall Street look down on construction workers as peasants.

So, you’re probably wondering where I’m getting at, right? Well, it’s that people like being in herds, and they like being herded. Even non-conformist types all dress the same way, including groups pretty serious about being different, like “Anonymous,” with their stupid Guy Fawkes masks. Go to any amusement park on a slow day, and you’ll find that the ropes and chains are set up the same way as if it were a busy day. There are no long lines, and might not even be a lot of people there, but the partitions remain the same. Logic would tell us that the fastest you can travel between point A and point B is a straight line, but these people will still mill around through the labyrinth of chains and rope as if people are in front of them. Why don’t they just step over the ropes? They’re programmed not to.

Which leads me to modern day public schools. Our educational system has been the same for about a hundred years. Not much has come in the way of change. You get on a bus packed with people, and where you sit is based on the pecking order that even forms there. Then you go to your classes, which urge group participation, and teamwork to finish projects. There is no room for individuality, because individuality is not what public schools promote. They promote conformity, but to what? More on that in a second. Band, team sports, and pretty much any extracurricular activity is a staple of American society. If your kids play a team sport, most parents are stoked. If your kid is popular, most parents are stoked. However, these team building exercises are in my opinion, geared towards one thing, and one thing only.

The same thing they’ve been geared towards for over 100 years. Factory work.

Want to know why our school systems are failing us? It’s because we are still using tactics and systems that were used a hundred years ago to prepare kids for long lives of working in close proximity to their peers, for long hours, and getting a singular task done, all in the name of patriotism. Something as simple as football teaches kids to obey their superior without question, and work as a team towards the same goal. MVP, employee of the month, it’s all the same shit. Worthless titles and accolades meant to give the purposeless, purpose.

Nowadays, there are far less factory jobs, but the mentality remains. So, people that make a living off of creativity are shunned as “less than,” compared to the blue collar workers in America, when creativity and thinking outside of the box are exactly what we need right now, if we are to ever fix this mess. The painters, authors, etc, are looked at as not even having real jobs to those that clock in from nine to five, which is backwards thinking. Back before the industrial revolution, there was a premium on free thinkers, and they built the country from the ground up, because they were allowed to, after escaping the tyranny of their home countries overseas. After that, they needed workers to realize their dreams, so the intelligent got together and created this brand of patriotism and this sense of duty that we know today. Most of the people you meet in your life will work their entire lives and die for someone else’s dream. They’re also programmed to believe this is “the right thing,” and therefore will believe they are better than you because of it, even if subconsciously.

This is why the biggest piece of shit you know can put on an army uniform and everyone they encounter from that point forward will tip their hat to them. Did they suddenly stop being a piece of shit overnight? No. It’s that we have patriotism indoctrinated into us as soon as we hit grade school, starting with a mandatory standing ovation to the American flag every morning.

People do not want to be correct, they want to be “right,” and that is the single biggest thing stopping us from advancing as a society. We can get nowhere if all sides will never budge, as they all already believe they are right and everyone else is wrong. This is what makes religion as a whole so scary. They’re not only indoctrinated by our brand of patriotism, but by their religion as well, which tells them to put “God,” above all else, and since everyone interprets the texts of their religion differently(all while believing their version is right), it creates a dangerous environment. One where people can kill large groups of people with no remorse because they believe their “God,” told them to do it, based on their interpretation of their texts.

Nothing that I say will change anything, as it never does. We all believe we are right, including me, so no one will change their opinion or point of view, but until we do, on a mass scale, we can never move past this primitive mindset, and better the world around us for everyone living in it. Whether all of us assholes deserve a better world or not.

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