Genetic Variation and Diversity of Thought

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A homogenous group of animals may be strong and mighty, but they are likely to be wiped out of existence if a deadly disease affects even just one of them.

Because they are all the same, all who get the disease die.

So from an evolutionary standpoint, genetic variation is desirable since diversity offers the best chance at survival.

We can take this idea of genetic variation and apply it to our society as well.

Look at a cult mentality…

A group of people mindlessly follow their leader.  They worship the words he preaches and follow him to their deaths.  Because they did not have a diversity of thought, they perished.

But that’s a small scale example and everyone knows not to drink the punch now.  Surely these things don’t happen on a large scale…

Well there was that one Hitler guy.  A whole country mindlessly followed a madman as he tore through Europe killing millions.  If you lived in Germany, acting and speaking against Hitler got you killed.  They destroyed any diversity and in the end, their country was humiliated and defeated.

Why does this matter?

How many of us mindlessly follow directions from our superiors?

How many of us mindlessly follow the culture of our school (be it good or bad)?

We tend to assimilate ourselves into our environment.  This is good as it is a way to survive amongst a population but we must also take time to diversify our thoughts.  

We don’t have to act against our superiors, but we should at least consider alternatives.  

We don’t have to act against the culture of our school, but we should at least consider the consequences to us, our families and our students by doing so.  For example, if you teach in a negative climate, is it appropriate to homogenize yourself to that climate?

Variation of thought and action also allows us to come across new and better ways to teach and live our lives.

Warning though, when you start to think and act different it tends to draw attention to you.  Some of this attention may be good, some of it… not so much.

I think the alternative is much worse though.  Imagine a life of no growth and complete stagnation.  This is a life where everyone thinks and acts the same.

So go out and take a risk!  Try something new.  Diversify your thoughts and be free to think and act in ways you never have before!

Also, don’t drink the punch unless you know what’s in it!

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