Boris Johnson resigned as UK Prime Minister. I’m not here to debate whether that was a right or wrong move. I will say that his resignation speech was interesting. To me, at least. Maybe a few others.
In his speech, he noted some of his accomplishments. He did have some major wins and moved the needle on a few things. At the end though, some of his personal failings did him in. He tried, unsuccessfully, to get his party to stick with him. But some had enough. I’m overly simplifying the narrative in order to get to his resignation speech. And, who hasn’t thought of such a thing? Whether it was in fantasies or nightmares.
What struck me was his reference to herd mentality. As a psychologist, that has always fascinated me. He noted that the herd mentality was strong and when it moves, it moves. At the root of herd mentality, is that when individuals are affected by mob mentality, they may make different decisions than they would have individually. People can be influenced by others in such a way that their own individual rationale or understanding of right and wrong is subsumed.
If you ask me, herd mentality is everywhere and in every facet of our lives these days. And, that is frustrating, annoying, and somewhat scary in terms if what it means for us all. Workplaces are taken over, more and more readily, by such thought contagion. Social networks of friends can get infected and destroyed from the inside. Even families. Many point to the influence of social media. And, surely it is part of the equation. Yet, there’s more to it than that. The time is now, apparently, for such thinking whether right or wrong. I’m not casting judgment just noting a movement, of sorts. And, we would be justified in pausing and maybe (un)herding. Yes, I think I made up that term. Well, it’s probably out there already. So be it. Just unherd.