Man has this amazing ability to copy, to follow, to be led or he has a driving wish to be exactly same as those around him. It is called sheep syndrome. The next door neighbors have just got a ten speed lawnmower ….. all kids at school have one……the dot.com bubble …………. fashionable/trendy ……….I want to be same ……..and so on down trail!
An immense example of misplaced sheep syndrome is current British mind set of buying of property in another country. Millions of middle-class and average people have given over their life savings in return for a square piece of land with a debatable construction sitting on it, in Spain, in Cyprus, Florida, et al! Not only have they handed over all that they have ever had but given it in return for something that lies a thousand miles away and that once excitement has worn off will become a costly burden that is visited only twice a year, if that! Yet, it is fashionable; it is ‘sensible’ thing to do, to buy some property in rural Turkey, just like neighbors have bought. It is profitable to buy a three bed-roomed house in Florida, because brochure said we could rent it back out when we don’t use it! The agent said that price is inclusive ………and so it goes on, each prospective buyer convinced that it is a wise thing to do in life and nobody saying otherwise because it is trend, sheep syndrome in action!
Another large example of man following man was YK2 period of disaster prediction! Somebody casually observed that computer clocks might not cope with change over to new millennium because nobody had thought about it before, despite fact that it was only a couple of years away! So what happened was a mad panic and had somebody said ‘boo’ in a rather large voice stampedes would have occurred, cities would have evacuated themselves and wars would have started. But what happened was that rumors and counter rumors spread like wildfire, rivers of possible scary scenarios ricocheted around world and public became so infused with impending disaster they just didn’t know which way to turn.
At least four years before turn of century process of panic indoctrination started and people rapidly became suffused with fear. The US government set up a command center at an initial cost of 50 million dollars to cope with impending crisis and throughout it all computer geeks and companies made fortunes as they set up Y2K software companies and became solemn experts on subject! Billions of Dollars, Pounds, Dong, etc. was spent on new equipment that had stickers plastered all over them that read, “I am Y2K compliant”, and power station night security guards lied without embarrassment to have their night off starting on 31st December!
Planes were going to fall out of sky at midnight. Russian missiles were going to arm themselves, to shoot across oceans and to land in middle of Sunset Boulevard! And lights would just switch off, water would stop coming out of taps and bank machines would never again issue another note simply because big hand could not quite get past top of hour!
The end of world is nigh.
When actual turning point came, nothing astounding or untoward happened! Planes did not collide in mid-air, nuclear explosions from local power station did not light up night skies and little aliens with green heads did not land to take over world! The only real tremors and aftershocks felt were a direct result of panic build-up of previous. Those who had stockpiled food in their underground bunkers had year’s worth of baked beans to work through; those who had stockpiled goods suddenly found out that their life savings were now invested in a worthless pile of batteries, torches and gas lamps that nobody really wanted anymore. Banks had problems on Monday morning as customers queued up to re-open closed accounts (money withdrawn because banks vaults would never open again) and portable bunker rental firms found it difficult to cope as their goods were returned in quick order!
All sheep should have felt very sheepish indeed but true to form, and because everybody was in same boat they just found other sheep trails to follow.
The sheep syndrome is very much a deep rooted fear of being different, of being odd man out, to be an outcast of a certain group whether it is social, work or family! This fear is ingrained from birth, so deeply that for most knowledge of its existence is not known. For most people eagerness to be same, to be an active and popular member of a group overrides any thought as to why they really want this and thus fear is pushed and kept far away and dusty in nether regions of mind. From day that we are born conditioning starts. Parents give to their children what other children of that age group have, for these children in turn to want what those other children have and in time to give their very own offspring what they feel that they should have. As humans we tend to operate and guide ourselves through maze of life by copying, following and fitting in, our sole guide being what is around us. We tend not to step outside of circle that we are in, we tend not to think alone or to act differently because of that simple deep rooted fear of being cast aside or ignored.