Byron's Babbles

I Just Liked The Idea Of Having One

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on November 6, 2022

I am a huge believer in the wisdom of crowds, but I was reminded this weekend that we can also lose our conscious personality when we become members of a large group. This has been called “group think” or “group mind.” Gustave Le Bon argued that we become part of a group mind whose behavior is erratic, emotional, and irrational. This was discussed in one of the books I am reading right now, Propaganda: The Art of Public Communication and Relations by Edward Bernays.

In the last couple of weeks I have realized that the fanny pack is back. This post is not about the fanny pack per say, but about how we become what Bernays called “irrational herd animals.” In other words we are highly influenced by what others are doing and in this case, what fashion experts tell us we should be buying. Please don’t take this as me saying fanny packs are bad or not practical. It’s just interesting that as more and more are wearing them either in the traditional way, or across their shoulder as a fanny pack sling, the more everyone just has to have one. In fact there are now designer fanny packs.

My son’s girlfriend was getting caught up in all the fanny pack hype and decided she just had to have one. She and my son went shopping and the place she wanted one from was all sold out. When we were discussing this, she told me she didn’t think she still wanted or needed one. Then she said something I thought was pretty profound: “I just liked the idea of having one.” How often do we get caught up in the idea of something that we don’t really need or we think needs to be done? If we’re honest, I believe this happens a lot. So, to keep from falling into the group mind that Le Bon described, we can use Jill’s thought and ask: “Do we really need it/need to do that or do we just like the idea of it?” There really is a difference.

One Response

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  1. Brenda said, on November 7, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    I’ve probably still got mine from the 90s


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