Fuel shortage – the power of collective thinking!

March 30th, 2012 by Marie-Claire Clinton

You will have to bear with me on this post as it will probably ramble – but on the upside, at least I have found a topic to motivate me to write about after a hiatus of over a month (I can hear my SEO bod tut tutting – morning Karl).

My mum did a degree in sociology and education as a mature student at the same time as I was doing my law degree (in the good old days when the local authority picked up the bill for the tuition fees and gave a grant for living expenses, which for me was £600 per term which was more money than I had ever had in one go and I thought I was rich, but soon realised that it wouldn’t go far so got a job).

Anyway, the one thing I remember from my mum’s course was the notion of a self-fulfilling prophesy.  If you tell someone often enough or enough people tell them once, for example, that they are stupid then the person will believe it and act appropriately no matter that they are actually very intelligent.

This is understandably very important to know in the education profession.

But I think it is also very relevant in every day life.

Just take as an example the vote by the fuel tanker drivers to strike.  They have to give not less than 7 days notice of the date or dates of their action, and they haven’t yet done so.  There is therefore no fuel shortage at this time because of strike action.

But because enough people have been saying to top up your cars just in case there is a fuel shortage, and because as a result enough people have been doing so, there is now a fuel shortage.  The unions must be delighted at the show of strength even the ballot for strike action has demonstrated in advance of their ACAS talks on Monday!

Given that we are very good at self-fulfilling prophesising, imagine if we were able to harness this in a positive way??  The potential is scary, but in a good way.

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