Peering Your Peers

Peering Your Peers

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September 19, 2011 , ,

Next time you are in a crowd of strangers look around you.  What part would you say you play in that throng of humanity?  Do you play a large or small part?  Do you play any part? Is there a common purpose in the crowd that you currently are part of?  Being part of this crowd also means that it is part of you.  Do you feel different in this crowd? Bigger? Smaller? Do you struggle through it or do you just go with it?  Are there different parts to this crowd?  Do you all move as one?  Do you feel abandoned when that crowd is gone? Exposed? or do you feel relief?

I remember back in my life and how I watched everyone trying to be part of the “in” group.  I wasn’t an idiot and I knew that I could never belong to that group of “elite” individuals.  I would dream about fitting into any “group”.  Alas that dream evaded me for years.  I was so outcast that the other outcasts wanted nothing to do with me.  (Geeks and Nerds wouldn’t even accept me).  Then I found drugs and my status quickly changed, by we’ll save that story for another time.

Now I look around me and I watch adults still trying to fit into these groups.  Trying to advance their social status by changing and evolving the groups that they associate with.  Some people are so caught up in this “social ladder” that they end up more alone than ever.  Self imposed isolation within a crowd to ensure your standing in social culture?  Now that has to be the stupidest idea ever but that is what ends up happening in a lot of cases.

Certain groups of people can’t stop and say hi to a homeless person on the street because if they are seen doing it then they will get a bad reputation.  Certain groups can’t get help for their private addictions because to do so means that they may be found out.  Certain groups can’t call the police for protection because to do so would tarnish their image. Certain groups can not be seen in certain stores for fear of being called cheap.  A never-ending cycle of “finger-pointing and name-calling”.

It’s amazing, it seems we spend more time trying to please our social network then we do trying to please ourselves and those around us that actually mean something to us.  How many people you know live in constant debt, with no chance of getting out of it, just to fit in?  So how many of those people, that they are trying to impress, are going to stick around once they declare bankruptcy?

So next time you are walking in a crowd, pay attention to the people around you.  I bet that you could go right through that crowd of strangers and not one of those people would pay much attention.  Not realizing that the crowd of people they are currently part of is in itself an entity that would take on a life of its own given certain circumstances.

The concept of interdependence has been misconstrued to such an extent by society as a whole that it no longer exists in a consistently recognizable form in most large urban centres.  Our public lives sometimes require that we surround ourselves with strangers.  It is easy to integrate into a crowd of strangers and thus become a ‘stranger’ yourself.  Trapped in a (+ -) 2 foot square with yourself and whatever you are walking on and the smell of the crowd as company.  Nobody knows you and nobody really cares.

As a result we can easily ‘disappear in a crowd’.

Thus we are


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