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We are lemmings

June 18, 2012

Know the saying “Swim with the stream”?As in fish. I like that saying. That we’re all just a bunch of fish following each other because it’s easier and safer.

Of course there will always be people swimming in the other direction, and I like to think that I am one of those on certain occasions, but psychologically speaking, we are born to belong in groups, and therefore we are a product of said group, wishing to fit in, because it is hard to survive alone (evolutionary psychology anyone?)

But I like another saying better. I like to say that we are like lemmings. Lemmings are rodents. They are like mice and such, but their behaviour is strange.

This I found on Wikipedia (it is, in fact, very true):

“Driven by strong biological urges, some species of lemmings may migrate in large groups when population density becomes too great. Lemmings can swim and may choose to cross a body of water in search of a new habitat. In such cases, many may drown if the body of water is so wide as to stretch their physical capability to the limit. This fact combined with the unexplained fluctuations in the population of Norwegian lemmings gave rise to the myth.”

The myth spoken about here is the believe that lemmings would commit mass suicide, which is, of course, not true. But when they migrate they all move like one organism. If the lemming in front chooses to swim across a very big “body of water”, say, a lake or a small ocean, then all the others will automatically follow.
Frankly, just like we humans do.

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I’m not saying it’s a horrible thing, we humans walking together like an organism, making our way in the world together rather than by ourselves.

I’m just stating that this is how we are, and we have to learn to accept that, because we are born to live together, hunt together, protect each other and help each other, because we are weak when we are many alone and strong when one.

And even though this is what I say, I’m not by that claiming it to be the only reality, but my humble opinion.

What is yours? What are we born to do?

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