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Topic: Peer Pressure (07/05/04)
TITLE: Peer Pressure and the Herd Mentality
By Brenda Blakely
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The pressure exerted by our peers is limited to our perception and/or determination of how we much we will allow the pressure to affect us. It is up to us to choose. Certain elements of society would like to have us believe that they are capable of providing enough pressure, either positively or negatively to bring about a desired reaction from a particular being and/or group of beings.
This simply does not have to be the case for any individual human being capable of making a choice. In order to make a choice one has to have at least a limited amount of information, character or reserve to use when confronted with a choice. Who is in control and what is the guiding force?
For beings of the animal kingdom, many times it is the human who feeds and otherwise provides care for the animal or the herd who seeks food and protection as a group. For humans who are independent the freedom for choice is much more explicit, yet there are many human beings who fall into the same category as a being from the animal kingdom.
A supposition could be made: Human beings improperly prepared for life may face the same difficulties resisting peer pressure in the same way an animal in a herd would react. If this is true it makes it even more important to teach with all our might and do all we can to see that our greatest resource, our youth, are properly prepared to make good choices and are less likely to succumb to the forces of peer pressure and/or a herd mentality.