DO BIRDS-OF-A-FEATHER really "Flock together"?

by Terry 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • Terry

    My grandfather insisted "Birds of a feather flock together" and thought it was some kind of genius rule-of-thumb for understanding life.
    Then I began noticing at school, at parties, in neighborhoods, people who looked the same hung out together and excluded others.
    Then, I became a Jw. They only hang out with JW's. The world was further divided into Sheep and Goats. Either/Or.
    As I got older, I noticed people further divided by music they listened to, mocking others for having different "lame" tastes. The way people dressed further divided them. The economic background became a huge divider. More and more I looked and saw things like sports fanatics who hated other teams than their choice, Chevy owners who made fun of Fords, American cars vs. Japanese, etc.
    Birds-of-a-feather seemed to actually flock together even though plenty of Political Correctness pretends it "shouldn't be unfair."
    Among my black friends I was shocked to hear light-skinned blacks put down darker skinned blacks. What was going on with that?
    Is this the secret of the Universe?
    Then one day, I was in a conversation with guy who worked as a Professor, teaching Evolutionary Biology. He brought up something I hadn't thought about--it started to make sense.
    A species survives by seeing "others" as competitors and singling them out and excluding them. It is hard-wired as a survival mechanism.
    It has nothing to do with "fair" or "moral" because it is a leftover from tens of thousands of years of competition and survival of the fittest.
    Humans have left the food chain. We won. But, we can't rid ourselves of these hidden instincts to divide off and exclude "others."

    Political solutions don't work because Politics practices the VERY SAME PREJUDICES politicians pretend to want to eliminate. They divide into parties.

    Liberal vs. Conservative. They mock those who disagree.

    Each side will eagerly dehumanize their opponents.

    They camouflage their aggression as "public service." Meanwhile, they enrich themselves just like ancient predator clans.

    It all just another version of the same old bullshit.
    Maybe my grandfather was right: Birds-of-a-feather flock together.

    We once were JW's hanging out exclusively pointing at Christendom as "goats" and now we are Ex JW's hanging out together excluding our old gang, pointing and sneering at "those assholes."
    What can we do about all this other than force our consciousness to broaden and teach ourselves to be more analytical of our motives and actions?

  • MaverickAmos
    Life is indeed deep. But i believe indeed birds of the same stock flock. I think us vs them is primitive in humans. Education can erase this behaviour, but media misconception makes matter worse..
  • Wild_Thing

    This problem is compounded by the fact that JWs promote such black and white thinking. This is especially well ingrained if you were raised in the org. Even with the best of intentions after leaving, it is hard to get rid of. It may have some to do with evolutionary make-up, but I believe most of it is a learned behavior, as least when it comes to categorizing and judging people.

    On another point with this issue ... when you are a JW witness, you are forced to fly with the flock and no one else. If you live in an isolated area or go to a small congregation, all of those other factors you mentioned that are normally cohesive or divisive in the world do not matter. If you are a preteen in a congregation with only one other preteen, you better like them because they are all you've got as a friend. You could have absolutely nothing in common with this person, but you are forced to be their friend because you are forbidden to associate with any of the other "flocks" of the world.

  • prologos
    birds flock at times, for protection, look at the beautiful murmurations of starlings, so,starlings the darlings, startling the hawks too. but when pairing up in their breeding grounds they become territorial. The right people seem to flock & gather here.
  • Terry
    I think there once was an 'evolutionary' imperative passed on as a trait to create a sense of territoriality. (This land is our land.)
    It is certainly expressed more harshly in some folks than others. This is where nature and nurture dovetail.
    I know it isn't simply bad manners.
  • GrreatTeacher

    Well, I've always also heard that opposites attract.

    Maybe we just have a saying at the ready to describe any type of behavior we see.

Share with others