Power of Group Influence

This part of the paper will discuss two group-related incidents. The first incident occurred last Sunday during the group meeting for our Youth Empowerment Movement (YEM). YEM is a multicultural all inclusive Christian youth group that focuses on helping youths cope with challenges, initiating development activities in their community, identification and promotion of youth talents, and promotion of social integration in our communities.

During that meeting, Jose and Santos arrived in the meeting very late. In addressing them our chairman said that “you two Hispanics it quite clear that you are always late for meetings, I think it’s your culture that encourages this lazy behaviour and due to your laziness I demand written explanation to this effect and an apology to the other members.” Coincidentally, the two were the only members of Hispanics origin in our group and were the only people who were late that day.

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The second incidence occurred in our advanced calculus lecture when the lecturer was handing back our continuous assessment results. During that time, the lecturer, while referring to smith, said that “you Japanese it seems that you and your people you do not perform well in my classes.”

These statements were discriminatory since referring to people by their race/ethnicity can be quite discriminating especially in situation where these people are perceived as minority.

In addition, these statements were very discriminatory due to the fact of associating any people’s race/ethnicity with laziness or non-performing aspects, hence a bias incident. Further, the remarks can fuel racial divisions or misunderstandings within the group, since it can be interpreted as racial bias of given people to the others, thus, members of the group may start taking sides.

I agree with the statement that, “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.” This is because, normally, a good idea or intention comes from one person or a small group that then spreads and works for it, which eventually helps other people and the world at large.

For example, the International Red Cross Movement was founded from the idea of a young Swiss businessman, Jean Henry Dunant, who after witnessing condition of wounded soldiers in 1859 during the battle of Franco-Austrian, organized for relief services with the help of the local community immediately (Indian Red Cross, 2008).

From this event, Henry wrote a book Memory of Solferino, which he used it to influence like-minded people around the world who during the Geneva Convention of 1864 founded the International Red Cross that serves the world in times of difficulties such as hunger, war and diseases (Indian Red Cross, 2008).

Noble idea of few committed citizens has led to revolution or creation of countries that have significantly transformed the world in many ways.

For example, the Founding Fathers of the United States of America were a small group of political leaders and statesmen, who took part in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of Independence in July 4, 1776 and establishing the United States Constitution (Founding Fathers, 2010).

Through their visionary leadership, these leaders were able to create a great nation that has been able to intervene in various global matters ranging from hunger, peace initiatives, war, and transformation of the world in various other aspects such as democracy, capitalism, and technological advancements.

In support of the earlier statement, it is very clear that masses generally do not come up with a great idea; rather, it is the leaders or a small portion of the population that come up with the original idea and spread it to the larger population. This population eventually adopts it, leading to a successful group influence, which can be felt even globally.

References

Founding Fathers. (2010). History of the USA. Retrieved from: http://www.foundingfathers.info/.

Indian Red Cross. (2008). History of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Retrieved from http://www.indianredcross.org/origin.htm.