Groupthink. Sort of.

I’ve heard it said that there are four types of people:

  • People that make things happen. 
  • People that watch things happen.
  • People that things happen to.
  • People that don’t know what’s happening. 

I’d like to think I belong to the first group, especially in regards to my business. But I think a lot depends on who you’re talking to, and what my function is within the confines of the relationship. For instance, when it comes to the social schedule around here, I’m definitely in the “people that don’t know what’s happening” group. Today, a friendly barrista at our friendly, neighborhood Starbucks asked me “are you ready for Thanksgiving?” I said, “um…yes…and no. Or no…and yes. It depends.” Truth be told, I had no idea that Thanksgiving is this Thursday. Ouch. 
I’ve also heard it said that there are three kinds of people:

  • Those that believe you get ahead strictly by hard work and self-reliance.
  • Those that believe the world owes them a living, and wants the government to take care of them. 
  • Those that want to maniuplate both groups, to acquire power. 

For the record, the first group is largely populated with conservatives, the second by liberals, and the third by bureaucrats. (I’m a conservative.)

The media would have you believe there are but three economic groups:

  • The rich
  • The middle class
  • The poor

Problem is, very few think they belong in the first group. Most of those in the third group would kill to be in the first or second groups, and many politicians try and convince the second and third groups that the first group is evil, and the root of all our problems. Politicians claim they want to help groups two and three, by taxing the snot out of the first group. Unfortunately, when they go to tax the “rich” there aren’t enough of them to pay the freight, and so they simply move the bar so more of the middle class get counted as “rich.” 
Nobody clears this with the middle class, who, when it comes to paying higher taxes, would be just as happy to remain “middle class.” 

When I was a kid, there were only two types of people:

  • Good guys.
  • Bad guys.

The good guys all wore white hats and shot the guns out of the bad guys hands. The bad guys all wore black and shot to kill. 

As I grew older, I began to see three groups out there:

  • Those that use their brains.
  • Those that don’t use their brains.
  • Those that don’t have brains.

As a teacher, I thrilled in teaching students that wanted to use their heads to get ahead. I always tried to show great patience to those that simply didn’t have much upstairs to work with, but really wanted to learn. I had absolutely no patience with those that were gifted, but refused to put their brains in gear and think.

I guess my favorite way to pigeonhole humanity comes from American humorist Robert Benchley, who once demanded, “Agree or disagree with the following statement: There are two groups of people…those that put people into two groups…and those that don’t.” 

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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