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AMAZING ARTICLES #34: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY - THE INDIVIDUAL

 

COROLLARY THEOREMS: "there is no better tomorrow if we do not learn today."

RED LEAF

All people like to see things. Take an Afghan person, an USA citizen, a French, a German, a Nigerian, a Chinese, a . . . well, anyone: they all like "to travel" and "to see new things" more than anything else. We could say that our Homo Sapiens species appears to be more like "Homo Traveler"!  Psychologically, that is a particularly interesting, general, common-behavior characteristic feature; therefore, the question is, "Why?"

 

 


I was fourteen or, possibly, fifteen when I had a contradictory argument with Captain Giga. At one moment he got very angry and said that I should better keep my mouth shut because he had seen the entire World.
I replied that "seeing the World" means absolutely nothing if someone doesn't have "the eyes" to see it.
GREEN LEAF LOf course, my remark freed a torrent of invectives, then Captain Giga ended by asking, what did I mean with "not having the eyes to see the World"; was it my intention to insult him by insinuating that he was blind?
I explained that the World, or our Life, may be "seen" ONLY with the "eyes of the mind": if you have those eyes, then you can "see" a little something of it; if not, physically seeing "things" is not going to help anybody achieve anything.

Unfortunately, those words of mine have enlarged and deepened the rift between Captain Giga and me to an irreversible . . . Well.

 

 

Human individuals have a specific mode of psychological development, particularly interesting. First, children are born into our World, and each has the brain completely clean, psychologically, except for a few basic instincts. Whatever a child learns, and the mature individual he is going to become one day, that is the end result of a very complex set of social efforts named "education". For each nation--better said, for the entire Species--each new born child represents our future, our hopes, and the promise of a better World tomorrow; in other words, each child is the most precious "value" our Civilization has.

Mountains of gold, oceans of oil, trillions of dollars, endless lands or many atomic weapons mean absolutely nothing compared to a child. [Note that we used the indefinite article "a" deliberately ahead of the noun "child"]. Of course, there is one in a billion chance--or even less--that a child would become "someone truly great", but that doesn't matter a bit: any child could be THE ONE.
 
A child is born with all the basic instincts: milk sucking; mother recognition based on smell at first, then on sight; hiding; plus learning. All mammal babies are capable of learning, though for the Homo Sapiens species, today, learning takes about 35 years--in normal conditions. During the first three or four years children are able to learn any language, regardless of how difficult it could be; for example, the English one. That is a stunning performance! A mature, East European nuclear physicist is not able to match that skill not even after 10 years of intense efforts!

Further--and in normal conditions--up to the age of 25 children go through the official education system: the school. That is the most important learning period, in which children learn--psychologically--to be human and social individuals. However, that is also where our society fails catastrophically.

Next, up to the age of 35 each individual fights his way up in society, and that implies more learning efforts. Between the age of 35 and 45 the individuals struggle very hard trying to "accommodate psychologically" in society. The great 45 years limit is--generally--the time when some individuals begin to understand our society, and they "know exactly what they have to do". Psychologically, 45 is the "social maturity age" for us, today. The way people continue to evolve psychically after 45 is very important: for most comes the decline; for a few, however, they become the theoreticians of our Civilization!
 

Social Points of View

Psychical maturity is the apex, and a limit. Once reached, then that's it: there is no more psychological/mental development. People still learn, but they do not understand and they do not believe anymore because they "know". The scenario outlined in the paragraphs above represents "normal development", except "normal" is the ideal for us. In real life, things are far from being even close to normal; for example, psychological maturity may come even at the age of 7, for some.

Each adult person was a nice, little child once. However, in most instances children are strange, and difficult to understand to their parents. Why? The general idea is, "life is changing, therefore different generations do not understand each other"--which is entirely wrong. Regardless of how much is the fashion-culture changing, human nature, or human psychology remains the same. The idea that children are "different" is just an excuse for incompetence.

Two thousand years old documents reveal that parents, at that time, also had great problems understanding their children. For thousand of years social-fashion has changed with each new generation, and each change appeared to be more vulgar, provocative, and of worse taste.

However, what children and parents alike do not know is that cultural/social-fashion is--and it was--controlled by mature, smart individuals having precise goals. Further, if your child follows the fashion trend "to the letter", that is a clear indication the child has some psychological limitations--unfortunately, most of them do, only that increased percentage reflects natural distribution of intelligence in society.
 
RED LEAFAny cultural/social-fashion is good only if it brings some benefits to the people: many times the mentioned cultural/social-fashion does, but there are instances when it doesn't. For example, mutilating the body with all sort of "piercing" or tattoos cannot bring anything better to natural beauty. However, that is a clear indication the subject has a limited intellectual capacity, and that works just like an indicator: the more piercing/tattooing, the less intelligent is the subject.

Intelligent children sense they are different, and they try to avoid becoming "one of the herd" or "like everybody else". Note this: society is characterized, first of all, by the "average", and that "average" represents in fact the zero level of intelligence. Anyway, to make this short, human psychology needs to be studied as:

1. individual psychology
2. social psychology

What we care most, as people living in society, is that all individuals have good, strong social instincts/behavior: a strong social morality. However, it happens that some people become our leaders, and in those instances individual psychology is far more important. For example, we are very fortunate that Mr. George Walker Bush is the USA President today, not 40 or 30 years ago, because he has a "trigger happy" complexity. If the had been the USA President 40 years ago, the Third (Nuclear) World War would have been a reality today--and we would be all dead/nonexistent.
  
Not that it is Mr. Bush's fault: that is the way he is, and that's it. Should he be offered the chance to live his life 100 times, again and again, Mr. Bush would do exactly what he does today, because he is certain he performs to the best possible as the President of USA. Mind this please: Mr. Bush does only what he thinks is best for USA! Even more, regardless of the arguments, Mr. Bush would never understand that "there are better alternatives"--attention please: this "never" refers to ETERNITY!
 
As an individual, Mr. Bush is a very nice person--even charming--and he truly believes he is an ordinary USA citizen just like anybody else: what is good for him, it has to be good for USA also. Even more, Mr. Bush is a strong honest believer and supporter of Democracy--of course, that is "his Democracy". Personally, we like Mr. Bush a lot, and we write about him only because he is a well known personality in the entire World; should we present here the honorable Prime Minister of Canada, nobody would care a bit--well, almost nobody.

So, there is nothing wrong with Mr. Bush: that's just the way the man is. The truly sad thing is the USA voters: the most recent polls indicate that they do not support Mr. Bush's leadership lately. This is similar to a marriage: two individuals like each other a lot, and they rush to get married; a few years later, they discover they made a terrible mistake, only breaking that "marriage" is (almost) impossible. Who is to blame? Not Mr. Bush for certain.

GREEN LEAF LYou see, Mr. Bush will end his leadership one day, and the USA voters will be asked to elect someone else. If they will continue electing "nice people", as Mr. Bush, then it may be there will be no more USA in the future, and nothing else left of our little, beautiful Planet.

Now, social psychology is extremely important for the health of any civilized society, therefore countless armies of psychology doctors are needed. However, the great question is: "What do those thousands of psychology doctors actually do, because 'social things' go from bad to worse continuously?"
 
Civilized societies rely on three social institutions/organizations for health and protection.

1. The Police: this "force" works for society just as doctors work for individuals. First of all, the police is needed TO HELP THE PEOPLE with whatever is needed. Secondly, the police force is needed to clean and sanitize our society of bad individuals, because one single rotten apple in a basket is capable of destroying all other apples--try this if you don't believe it.
2. The Government: this social organism ensures the proper management, and the prosperous development of a certain society--in theory, at least.
3. The psychologists: they are needed more and more, due to technological development. The more advanced a society becomes, the stronger is the need for good psychological advice to "regulate" complex social problems.

However, all three social-organisms above will not function correctly if there are no means to control and punish bad behavior at any level, including the Presidential one. Yes, but who could punish the USA President, for example? Nobody. Take the case of Mr. William Jefferson Clinton and his congressional impeachment attempt: it proved totally fruitless due to political maneuvers. However, the need to control anybody, including the USA President, MUST BE THERE. Now, the only way to control any level of power in any society is MORALITY; better said, INDIVIDUAL MORALITY.
 

GREEN LEAF RShould Mr. Clinton had any trace of morality in his character, he would have resigned "his good job" after the "Monica affair" in no time. However, Mr. Clinton is not the only one hanging teeth and nail on a tarnished job. [By the way; Mr. Richard Milhous Nixon is an example of a towering morality, compared to Mr. Clinton, despite all his "weaknesses".] More and more managers and CEOs today refuse shamelessly to resign, and they hang on their good jobs--of doing absolutely NOTHING good!--as for dear life.

Democracy has no means to deal efficiently with imposture, corruption, nepotism, mismanagement, theft--or even worse--at very high decisional levels. Only MORALITY could help us out. However, MORALITY is degrading steadily, despite the fact that we have armies of psychologists: their first and THE ONLY DUTY is to protect social-morality, since it is the only viable instrument of correction at any level.
 
Our life appears to be a chaotic amalgam of events, chances, misfortune, and accidents. Should we know how to use it, social-psychology could become a precise, mathematical instrument to help us "see" the reality of today, and of tomorrow.

***

First published on October 01, 2006 
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