Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. Amy Poehler
Being part of a group gives us a support system. We have people who are in similar situations to ourselves we can ask questions and hear other people’s experiences. This is why when we are a new mother joining a mother’s group is good. There are groups within industries, social groups, self-improvement groups, motivation groups, fitness groups, and art groups.
Groups are part of my life and I enjoy every group I am part of. One of the highlights of the horticultural groups was the garden tour. Where we would traipse through about six gardens and then get together for a potluck dinner.
The book club is one of my favorite groups. We will be getting together for dinner this week, after meeting over zoom for most of two years.
Toastmasters play a big role in my life. At a recent meeting, the third-place winner of the International Speech Contest showed up. Toastmasters is a group that changes lives because becoming comfortable as a public speaker pays dividends in our life, and when we find our voice we find ourselves.
Joining the writer’s group and being in the company of others who are already published or who also want to be published helped me move in the direction I wanted to go.
Whatever we want to do there is a group for that. When we join groups we realize we are not alone in our struggle, endeavor, or interest. We may have narrow interests or wide ones. Being part of a group challenges and encourages us.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. Confucius
Of course, groups are not always positive, and they can get behind negative ideas as well as positive ones. We may not even realize when we are part of a group that is sliding into ideas that one day will be looked at in a negative light.
Agnes Campbell Macphail the first woman elected to parliament in Canada had a tie to eugenics. The aim of eugenics was to reduce human suffering by “breeding” out disease, disabilities, and undesirable characteristics from the human population. It sounds like a lofty goal but we know the dark side of eugenics.
Groups are great when they are positive and focus on the good, but they can also devolve into us against them. Group dynamics are such that unusual things can happen – both good and bad. Belonging to a group can make people more likely to harm others outside of a group. We have to make sure when we are part of a group we don’t lose touch with our own morals and beliefs.
Groups think, and mob mentality can take us in a bad direction. It may be hard to stand up for what we believe in a group. It may be easier to go along to get along than to stand alone.
There is power in groups, but wherever there is power it can be wielded in negative and positive ways.
Many groups that have the power to make life decisions for others don’t ever have to live out the consequences. Frances Fox Piven
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. George Carlin
The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge. Stephen Hawking
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