I often sound like a broken record but I guess I am like Dori of Finding Nemo fame. Ideas that I have encountered previously pop up and I’m like “You look familiar.” I was driving to work today wondering how people get scammed by the same hustles over and over. I also was wondering how I continue to allow myself to endure disrespect, abuse and isolation. Unfortunately i did not motivate myself enough to remove myself from my current shit-uation but the idea that resurface is people want to feel exceptional.
Oh now I remember what sparked the idea. It was a song I was listening to on Youtube. In essence they guy was praying to God not to allow him to just be another nobody. I wondered, why would you not want to be like everyone else. In actuality you are almost identical to everyone else. Given the same geographic location, education, familial structure, and other environmental conditions you are almost the same as the other guy. That is why the kids in the upscale community have similar stats and they are different from the kids in poverty who have stats identical to other kids in poverty.
So why was this singer praying to God to make him exceptional? It is because we are social animals and we gain approval and validation from our peers and others. We need people to prop us up emotionally and psychologically.
I recently watched a nature documentary on a troop of monkeys in India. What it showed was the social hierarchy of the monkeys is deadly serious to the point where if you are of low social status you may starve to death. Just as we have a social order where crime and violence are shunned, the same translates to this and other groups pf primates. A monkey could simply grab the food from a higher ranking one but they do not. Their conformance to the social order causes them to starve to the point of death unless a higher ranking monkey authorities them to eat or adopts them and inducts them into the higher social class where they have access to the first share of food.
So the singer, a human, a so-called higher form of primate still lives by the primitive social constructs to which we all subscribe. The higher you are in status, the greater access you have to human resources. People who view you as deserving of special treatment, are invaluable. Soldiers fight and die based upon the imaginary social hierarchy that allows the commanding officer to order them to take that hill. A woman is able to extract resources from a man who works to wine, dine and gift her fine things, because he holds her of higher value than himself. In the case of a pimp, he is able to extract resources from a woman who most likely has suffered so much trauma she believes her social status to be very low.
We are social animals. All relationships are transnational. Therefore you can negotiate the profit margin in your transaction based upon your perceived social status in the troop. This to me explains the innate capacity for humans, especially myself to express Stockholm Syndrome, which people now call Trauma Bonding.
So now that we are aware of this, what is to be done? The benefit of a soicial order is the capacity to collaborate, but it is like the proverbial golden handcuffs which also debilitate.
Photo credit: Huxley, T. H. (1904). Science and education: Essays. JA Hill and company