I heard this story the other day that I’d like to share with you that got me to thinking about how we follow what others say sometime so blindly that we don’t take the time to think for ourselves.
The story was about a middle-aged couple who were sitting having breakfast together on a cold winters morning in northern Maine. While listening to the radio they heard the announcer say, “We’re going to have about 12 inches of snow today so all residents must park their cars on the even numbered side of the street for the plows to get through.”
The wife frantically grabbed her coat and keys and fled out of the house to park her car on the even side of the street.
About a week later there was another storm where she heard the announcer say that everyone must park the car on the odd numbered side of the street for the plows to get through. Once again she grabbed her coat and keys running out of the house to park her car on the odd numbered side of the street.
A few days later while having breakfast with her husband again during another storm the announcer once again announced over the radio that they were expecting about 20 inches of snow and that the resident should park their cars on the…
Then the electricity went out in their home before she could hear the rest of the weatherman’s announcement. The woman got very upset, pacing back and forth worried about what to do. She had no idea which side of the street she should park on for the plows to get through.
Then with a loving and understanding voice her husband said to her, “Dear, why don’t you just leave the car in the garage this time.”
It’s truly amazing how quickly people are willing to do what they’re told. We’re conditioned since birth to following instructions, obey signs, follow the crowd and listen to virtually anyone in a position of authority. This includes parents, relatives, teachers, law enforcement officials, religious figures and politicians just to name a few.
This is why when a suggestion is given by someone who appears to be an authority the subconscious mind will react to it so much stronger than it would to any other suggestions. One example of this would be if your mother told you “not” to do something… even though you were planning on doing it anyways the entire time that thought of what your mother said would be nagging you in the back of your mind.
I remember one time last winter in fact during a phone call with my mother she mentioned that I sounded like I was about to get a cold. Even though I felt fine at that time the comment she made about catching a cold remained in the back of my mind. Within a day or two I found that I had a full-fledged cold. Even at my age (which will remain private) a parents suggestion was very effective. I didn’t believe the suggestion and was resisting it bit ultimately the suggestion was still there to be resisted against. Whether you’re fighting for or against something your focus is still on it.
Just think about how much we follow what others in authority positions say:
* The doctor says something wrong with you so you automatically follow his advice.
* The minister starts preaching about repentance and everyone automatically feels unworthy.
* Politicians say that terrorists are taking over the world and we all rally behind them.
* The news says that there’s a storm coming and we should be prepared. As a result there’s practically a mob scene at the grocery stores buying shut-in supplies.
It’s amazing how most people won’t even take the time to get a second opinion or double check if what’s being said is true.
While driving through the country one day I heard a radio announcer talking about how bad it was raining outside. I imagine many other people heard him as well and prepared for the rain before going out. The funny thing is that it was very sunny outside at the time. The announcer later came on the radio apologizing for the mistake and stated that the room he was working in had no windows. I wonder how many people left their homes that day with rain coats and umbrellas in hand.
Even Adolph Hitler was quoted as saying, “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” My purpose in writing this article is not to have you throw your arms up in despair… rather it’s to get you to think about it for a while.
It’s time to take control of the marvelous power that we “all” have within us of individual thought. It’s time to decide for ourselves whether something is right or wrong. Yes it’s time to “question everything” rather than following blindly so the decisions you make are truly yours and not coerced by the group or people in authority.
Think about it…