Most people are in peak traffic when most people are in peak traffic, are at the gym when most people (who gym) are at the gym, start work when most people start, and stop when most people stop. It’s probably safe to say for most people, life amounts to doing things that most people do — when most people do them — the way most people do them.
Interestingly, most people, just like most people, actually don’t want to live like most people — they have unique aspirations — but, just like most people, they find safety in blending in with most people’s ways of being. Do you follow? So, unique as we all are, we march with the loud crowd of sameness although we long to be heard in the authenticity that makes us unique; and in the midst of the resulting tensions, our most natural expression of our deepest yearning to be heard is crying, not surprisingly. We’ve expressed our frustrations this way since birth and it helps release the tension.
However, same as we are in this regard: the more we grow up, the more sophisticated our crying becomes. In some circles it’s called retail therapy, in others it’s called toys for boys, etc, and we judge each other harshly for crying differently from one another. Some say retail therapy is a waste of money, others say it’s toys for boys that are wasteful. Some look with disgust at those whose cry is consuming pornography, illicit sex, alcohol, drugs, etc; but I bet we all cry, albeit differently. We’re the same in our differentness (and we’re different in our sameness too).
This post’s title says most people think the way most people think…
Is it any surprise, then, that most people give up trying, in life, at the point where most people think stopping is reasonable? To put it differently: is it any surprise that very few people go on achieving successes even though giving up is not life threatening? It’s not surprising; nor is it necessarily a bad thing, actually. Some of our struggles are a problem of being unable to give ourselves permission to give up when it’s necessary. This is why support groups work, isn’t it? Sometimes, all we need is for someone who understands to say “It’s okay.” In this case, our sameness is awesome. We just need to strike the right balance between our sameness and uniqueness.
If you’re anything like most people, you think like the top 5 people you hang around the longest — whether you like them or not (at work, school, etc) — and they are typically nothing like what you aspire to become and they don’t even look like they might ever become anything like it or even understand it but you, like most people, find safety in blending in with people who blend in with most people.
Hold on: aren’t we supposed to be the most intelligent species in creation? We are. How so? Hhayi, ungangabazi amandla akho! (If you don’t watch Isibaya, I’m sorry, it’s a stupid little inside joke that I couldn’t resist). So what makes us the most intelligent species of the animal kingdom? Simply put: our ability to learn new habits. I’m pretty sure that this is nothing new, nor is anything else in this post, but I hope it reminds someone, as it reminded me, that no hardship ever has to be permanent. Habit is overcome by habit.