Which is better, being an individual thinker or being a team player? Is it possible to be both? Well, Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America) insinuated nearly 200 years ago that there was a possibility Americans were both. While touring the 13 colonies he observed a basic tension in our national character that was / is an important contradiction of American life. The tension was between Americans placing a big stress on individual rights, but they were also big conformist. There was a dynamic of asserting oneself or one’s own rights and a fear of being out of step with the society they lived in. They / We don’t want to be told what to do, or shamed / coerced into doing it. We want our opinions to be included, discussed and respected within a constantly shifting range of acceptable opinions. We want to live peacefully with our neighbors in an orderly environment where we have the freedom to do, think, discuss, prosper and believe within the common sense rules of our society. We want to be a part of making up the rules. We like to know our rights are always OUR rights; not ignored, sneered at or taken away.
Historically, people / societies have had a passion for order. We don’t live healthy lives in an disorderly environment. (Google the news about Venezuela — there is a total breakdown in society. The people no longer make the rules they live by.) As individuals we are attracted to networks of family, reciprocal relationships where there is cooperation and an interest to help one another. It was / is called survival. People worked out their own rules through which their society remains at peace and in order.
The Story, When Horses Became Cows, is an allegory (a story that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden moral, cultural, political meaning) of how culture / attitudes change in the world we live in. Middle / High school are a microcosm for teens. It has all the influencing characteristic qualities of the world adults live in. The influences can be just as intimidating. Read the story to see how an orderly, healthy society is changed.
You will find a peaceful, orderly society that is turned upside down.
Click on the URL: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2017/cows-became-horses
Discuss the steps taken to change the society.
How do regular people stop this change?