I am amazed at how social programming has stuck with so many people. This morning, I was shopping with my dear wife for our normal weekly groceries and household items. You can probably guess where we were shopping from the photo used in the header. My commentary is not designed to condemn this retail establishment nor any others who reacted to the initial onslaught of fear when COVID-19 began sweeping through our nation. Nope, I am thinking more about the people who were (and are) so easily swayed, manipulated, and programmed to follow whatever flavor of social norm exists today.
Yes, the sheeple (cross between sheep and people) are being stripped of much of their self-reliance. It reminds me of those old sayings by the Greatest Generation who would look at a silly kid and say… “If your buddy jumped off the roof, would you?” or “Dang, he is certainly NOT the sharpest knife in the drawer!” However, the current status of social train-wreckitis is not restricted to any specific generation. We Boomers like to throw stones, so to speak, at the Gen X, Y, and Z’ers but people from every group have fallen into the trap of dependency. I could write a book about the topic, but let’s just take a brief look at the example in the photo.
The photo is of a retail store employee taking time out of her schedule to fill an order for a person who has decided to leverage the in-store pickup policy of this location (and most, I suppose). The website says “Shop groceries and more for same-day pickup. It’s free for orders over $35!” Hey, don’t get me wrong. I recognize that for some people, this may have been a great solution during the early days when we didn’t understand COVID and how it affected us. Lots of stores developed methods to stay open and serve their communities. But now, why are so many people still using this service? On an average Saturday, I see lots of these little buggy things in the isles with employees filling orders for the people who have decided to keep un-shopping this way. Again, let me state, if you are physically challenged, I am not talking about you. I am talking about a larger group of the populous who have either grown lazy or brainwashed into thinking it is their social duty to continue living as if COVID was still more of a factor than it really is – now. That’s right, most people have moved on and desire to live in normality.
The issue is that various governmental entities, individuals, and the “whatever you say” news media have successfully altered societal norms. Back to our example, can you imagine the conversation coming up in a corporate boardroom, a few years ago, that they would embrace the following…
“Yes, it doesn’t matter how much it costs! We simply MUST spend whatever it takes to allow our customers to send us orders for the items they want and we will enlist extra paid employees to spend the time walking the isles and filling baskets with their wanted stuff. OH, and we will even pay technical developers to invent new web and app methods to make it as easy for the customers as humanly possible! Oh heck, let’s even figure out a new plan to offer them free delivery too! That way, they don’t even have to leave home. Money? Profit? (giggle giggle)… Forget about it!”
I don’t know about you, but I definitely recall that companies are worried about profit margins. Where did the money come from to develop these new routines? Were their former profits that BIG so as to be able to absorb all these new methods? Makes a guy go… Hmmm?
Along the same line as this un-shopping thing, when I hear commercials telling me that I can buy a car or, what the heck, a new house without even looking at it in advance… it really does blow my mind. Sorry, but I really don’t have that much trust in human nature, do you? Ok, ok… wrapping up, I do wonder if these new social norms will stay around forever or just until these companies decide they can’t sustain them any longer and remain profitable. Good question, right? Friends, neighbors, fellow citizens… let us never forget the need to be self-reliant, taking responsibility for our own lives as much as we can. Don’t be sheeple, not thinking about cause /effect and the consequences of life by simply accepting anything you are told. Ask questions. Expect honest answers. Trust, but verify.