Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Reflection on the Easter Season and Bandwagon Jumping

I hope you all reflected with the time you have been given this Easter season. One of the topics I consistently explore in my blog is how internal values affect external actions. The lack of internal values leads to mob mentality. As Kenobi puts it " The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded. "

A manifestation of mob mentality is bandwagon jumping. making choices more to fit in with people around you than to align your actions with your personal beliefs. Of course if your beliefs are not really convictions then you will easily be swayed into mob mentality. Anthony Robbins said that you make every decision to get closer to pleasure to avoid pain. If you voluntarily experience pain it's with the belief that you are avoiding a greater pain.

When your values do not have roots, then you allow yourself to morally drift with the crowd. Hence the mob mentality. Hence the bandwagon jumping. Sometimes not wishing to conform to those who easily conform is seen as being stubborn.


Ever since I was a young lad and I started paying attention to the story of the Passion of Jesus Christ it always struck me the contrast between the people's behavior hailing Jesus on Palm Sunday and then come Good Friday they were calling for his head. The video I have provided below.  Please note in the third scene where Pilate gives the people a chance to vote who among Barabas or Jesus will be set free, the intimidation tactics used to manipulate the outcome of a vote does not seemed to have changed in two thousand  years. Once again proving the relevance of the Bible today.  And on a slightly less humble note, I saw the actor that plays Pilate on the plane, twenty years after this movie was made. 

In previous blogs I have quoted Tom Cochrane and Red Rider to explain mob mentality:
 ”People do some strange things
When they're all together
They wouldn't even dream of
By themselves” .

Just  like there is strength in numbers. Mob mentality also proves there is weakness in numbers.

I have no problem admitting you that I am a very flawed human being. One thing about watching and reading the story of Christ this Lenten season once again reinforced to me that the Church as we know it was built on flawed human beings. I told you last month that last year I was introduced to the School of the Word. Where we study scripture and apply it to our thinking, experience and our lives. One thing I will not forget Fr.Gerson say was that the Bible is not naive.

The Bible accounts for human flaws. Otherwise it would be impossible to have redemption stories. It's all there. Whether it's Moses or David or others. Trials and difficulties abound in the Bible. And wouldn't you know it , we all go through trials and difficulties.



Peter was all vim and vigor about Jesus when times were good. He denied Christ when the going got tough even when he was warned that he would . Peter himself jumped on the bandwagon when it was convenient. But Peter ultimately rebounded for his moment of weakness to be the Rock he was predicted to be. The Apostles scattered like roaches when you turn on the light at the time of Jesus' arrest. But they overcame that weakness and sustained the courage to build the Church. People of weak or no faith will be quick to point out the current weaknesses of humans in the Church and ignore any good they have done. If you will dwell on the bad, try to see the good.


All through out the story of Jesus. There are elements that want to subvert what Jesus stood for and his message and his following for their own purpose. What hit me while watching Jesus of Nazareth is that the story happens with the backdrop of the land being occupied by the Roman Empire. As in any occupation that requires military means to perpetuate it, there are always dynamics in play in everyday life. This affects the Gospel. If Jesus did not stick to his guns, the fundamentals of his teachings then they would have been subverted. For the record his teachings were love, faith, obedience , humility, caring for one another. It's all there in the book. Remember that when people of today speak in his name or claim to be his followers and want to subvert you . What values do you see in their actions? 

Warning the following are examples that hit me as mob mentality. Sorry if you disagree but read my explanations before you violently react to me. It would not be mob mentality if only  very few bought into it. I had to pick examples that were conspicuous. If the example bothers you I will listen to a well said rebuttal. My previous observations of people jumping on bandwagons:

Noynoy Aquino. His meteoric rise to the highest elected office in the land is proof of bandwagon jumping and mob mentality. He has no internal values that lead to concrete deeds. Like I said a while back pre election, he is wallpaper. He is just there.

You could not convince me in a million years that the people who jumped on the Noynoy bandwagon valued integrity, leadership and action. Noynoy was not any of those things yet he won the election. They valued ephemeral family ties and counterfeit patriotism. People jumping on the Noynoy bandwagon for me was the ultimate mob mentality. Supporters glossed over leadership and tangible evidence of crisis management. Look at Noynoy's campaign. All he did was anchor himself to the past. His parents' past. Not even his own. The color yellow, the 'L" sign, his dead mother's picture over his shoulder. Things he had nothing to do with.  And our nation rewarded him for that. Electing as your ultimate leader one who does not fit the traditional framework of  a leader is not exactly the Filipino's shining hour .

Efren Penaflorida - pinoys jump on his bandwagon not because they value what he does but they value the attention he gets. So they pretend they value his mission of education.

Azkals   - nation pins their hopes on people who are not even from this nation to represent this nation.

Pinoy Drug Mules- yeah, true leadership is jumping on the bandwagon of countrymen who go to other countries and break their rules. Instead of using it as a teachable moment for being accountable.

Using Death as an excuse to jump on the bandwagon

Crab Mentality- question bandwagon jumping and you get accused of being a crab

This Easter Sunday I hope you took the time over the break to reinforce your values through thinking and prayer so that you are not easily shoved into a convenient bandwagon. The deeper your values are the less room there will be for you in the bandwagon.


1 comment:

Tin A Pie said...

I think the reason why Pinoys are so easily herded to jumping on the bandwagon is because

1. they needed an assurance that they're doing something right

2. they believe that what the group believes in IS already right

3. deep inside they're insecure and believed that to be accepted they have to be 'in the crowd'

to add to your example: charice, any american idol half-breed pinoy, magnum ice cream, starbucks, iphone/ipad/iwhatever, photography, havaianas, branded clothes amongst others.