The human need to feel a sense of belonging is a subject seldom discussed openly, but is an important factor in each of our lives. While we may not think much about it, you can be absolutely certain that advertisers and those out to champion some cause or other do. They are firmly...and rightly...convinced that the best way to get you to join them is to imply, or simply come right out and declare, that there is something basically wrong with you if you do not agree with them.
Several of these blogs have, over the years, discussed the fact that because each of us goes through life as one individual in a vast sea humanity, the assumption too often is that we are different and apart from everyone else...that life is a huge club to which we don't really belong.
One of my favorite cartoons shows five men seated around a table, talking. One says: "So here we are, four intelligent men...five, if you count Frank, here...." And each of us is a Frank.
A couple of decades ago, there was a lot of talk about "subliminal messages" inserted into all forms of communications to influence you to think one way or another. I haven't heard subliminal messages mentioned of late, but it's certainly not that they have gone away. It's just that they no longer even make any pretense of being subliminal. We are bombarded with them every single day, and they have transmogrified from being subtle whispers to sledgehammers.
Consider for a moment.
"The movie/book/show everyone is talking about!" Well, I'm certainly not talking about it. I most likely had never even heard about it before, which isn't really surprising considering that it may not even have been released yet. However, that I haven't heard anyone else even mention it, either, is beside the point. The point is that since I'm not talking about it, clearly I am an outsider.
Politicians...and, in today's astoundingly mean-spirited times, especially Republicans...routinely use disenfranchisement as a weapon. How many times do they claim, unequivocally, that "The American people do not want" or "The American people will not stand for" some program they oppose--usually a program approved by the majority of voters. Since I've always assumed--apparently wrongly--that my birth certificate qualifies me as an American, where does this statement leave me? Usually they are talking about a program that I indeed do want, and that, since I probably voted for it in the first place, I certainly will stand for. But the message is clear: if I don't toe the line they have drawn, I am outside the circle and utterly worthless.
I am constantly amazed by the fact that anyone casting themselves in the role of the bull in the china shop has tens of thousands of people following them avidly, hanging on every utterly illogical word they utter, and believing without question every hateful, dehumanizing, self-serving statement they make. They take their power largely from convincing others that they have power, and a tragically large number of people, increasingly feeling they themselves are powerless, follow those who assume it, usually by playing on their fear and ignorance. It is a virulent case of the Emperor's New Clothes gone mad.
There is an old saying which, sadly, is becoming more and more true, and more and more accurate: "Those who cannot create, destroy."
And you? Well, if you don't agree with every single word those-who-would-be-king utter, it doesn't matter. Obviously your opinion doesn't matter. You are worth nothing at all.
Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday and Thursday. Please take a moment to visit his website (http://www.doriengrey.com) and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (http://bit.ly/m8CSO1), which is also available as an audiobook (http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B00DJAJYCS&qid=1372629062&sr=1-1).