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Monday, 22 June 2020

Individual insignificance versus group significance

Many people claim that "we cannot change things" and thus better "let it be". A video of 8 minutes and 46 seconds of George Floyd's death struggle changed that notion. Why would I continue writing if I thought, felt or believed that I cannot change things? My global insignificance does not stop me from making my daily global contributions.

I admit there is power in numbers. The counter on my blog now shows 680,000+ page views. Would I continue writing if the counter would no longer go upwards? Again, I admit that this question has indeed crossed my mind, whenever my weekly number of readers was very low. Each time, my answer was similar: my writing is for myself but I'm happy that others like it too.

When I was young, I lived in a small village. In the early 1960s, not many people owned a car. To my parents' surprise, I was able to tell them who would be arriving into the village based on the sound of their car. As a child, I felt that I knew everyone (of importance).

Today, we grow up and learn that the world is our oyster, which "means that you can achieve anything you wish in life or go anywhere because you have the opportunity or ability to do so". Such (very) high expectations can only cause disappointment.

Moreover, the concept of power in numbers works both ways. Johan Cruyff once said: "“Every disadvantage has its advantage”. The opposite is also true: Every advantage has its own disadvantage. The advantage of having 8 billion humans (eg, as a movement) automatically implies the disadvantage of having individual insignificance.

Individual insignificance is, however, a (philosophicalbelief that may get stuck in our minds, like any other of the 7 Belief systems (2016 version, 2019 update). This belief will often negatively affect our behaviour when we have faith in its validity and (do not) act upon it through our willpower. Please see my blogs on Faith, Beliefs & Willpower.

Fortunately, we all belong to certain groups (eg, colleagues, family, friends, students). Whenever we find like-mindedness in such groups, a new movement may find its origin. As a writer who enjoys his solitude, I merely have words. Nevertheless, Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) once stated: “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

“Never in the history of this nation have so many people been arrested, for the cause of freedom and human dignity. You know there are approximately 2,500 people in jail right now. Now let me say this. The thing that we are challenged to do is to keep this movement moving. There is power in unity and there is power in numbers. As long us we keep moving like we are moving, the power structure of Birmingham will have to give in.”A quote from the May 1963 speech “Keep on Moving” by Dr. Martin Luther King, JrNote: bold marking in quote by LO.

The Power (1990) by Snap!

I've got the power (Power, power)

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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