I am sitting out under the large fig tree at Krakatoa on 25th avenue. There is a light mist coming down but I am shielded by the large leaves. It is a perfect coffee drinking and flannel shirt wearing morning. The sounds of Etta James, Sam Cooke and the Everly Brothers are wafting out through the screen door. As the house roast “Krakhead” gently pulls into the station of my mind I think again about yesterday’s post on Group Forming.
Groups – Do we still need them? Continued:
(Visit Coffeehouse Thoughts #15 for the beginning of this….)
Let us look now at our modern era. We have developed a system of society with rules of behavior through which we have attempted to put limits on our aggression and competitive urges. We have developed ‘right and wrong’.
Through our knowledge and technology we no longer must struggle to survive the environment or wild beasts. Feeding our group is no longer a challenge either. There are threats however. Are not some of our biggest threats today caused by the groups we have formed, the very structures which were designed for our protection? Must we still form groups? Group formation only serves to separate and exclude.
We have discovered that those members of the strong aggressive group can also be caregivers and that those formerly only allowed to provide care can be leaders. Do we still need to form these groups?
Our practice of identifying differences and using those to place individuals into categories only seems to limit and exclude. Is it necessary to categorize individuals at all, let alone by random characteristics such as: shade of skin, body appendages, chromosomal type or geographic origin?
The tendency to favor those close to us is still a part of our nature but technology is shrinking the globe. Is a person living in Nigeria for instance so different as to require membership in a different group than say a person living in Canada or the U.S. or Nicaragua? They both have parents and grandparents, both have dreams and aspirations. They even share the vast majority of their DNA sequence.
It seems to me that the modern reason we define groups (just like in our prehistory) is an attempt to “keep all the good stuff” for our group and/or to subjugate other groups. This brings us back to competition. We seem to look for differences in order to find someone to compete with.
Is That Still Necessary?