The Power of Synergy
Groupthink. Herd mentality. Brainwashing. Cults. Bandwagon effect. Witch hunt. Lynch mob. There are many terms that express one of the things abhorred today: Conformity. Calling someone a conformist is considered an insult. In our free-spirited society, where individuality and independence reigns, who wants to be seen as a “copycat” and follower of others? As someone who cannot think or act on their own? In “1984” George Orwell reminds us of the horrors of conformity, through his chilling depiction of a “Newspeak” world, where everyone is expected and forced to think and speak the same words: War is Peace. Love is Hate. With Big Brother watching on. The Nazis, as did the Stalinistic Communists, all too tragically demonstrated in real life the devastating consequences of blind obedience. Others point out the damage done by centuries-old religious authorities imposing their will on the masses.
But if conformity is so repulsive, why is it so prevalent? How many people are actually non-conformists? How many pioneers do we have in our midst, people bucking the trend, going against the tide — out of desperation or out of courage? Would advertising and marketing work if people were not impressionable and vulnerable to convention and acquiescence? And is conformity, for that matter, such a bad thing? Isn’t that the bedrock of a co-existing society? How could we thrive if fierce individuality trounces cooperation and mans’ highest calling consists of pursuit of self interest and his own happiness, without any sacrifice (think of Ayn Rand’s Roark)? Can individual identity be balanced with the community without compromising one or the other? How about kindred spirits — what role do they play?
Please join Rabbi Jacobson in this Vayakhel workshop and take a trip down the corridors of history tracing back to the earliest roots of social communion (the “mother” of modern social media), to the inception of the concept of “community” (Vayakhel means to gather, rooted in the word kahal, community or group). Discover the enormous power of community, and how its synergy enhance, not compromises, individuality. Learn how a kindred spirit can help you access your uniqueness.