Our society’s values affect our own, whether we like it or not. It’s all part of being human. When people around us repeat the same message, eventually we say them back as our own.

I guess this is one of our mind’s tricks to make us feel more in control. It’s scary to think that we can be manipulated like this. To avoid that fear, our unconscious mind spits out the same ideas as if we thought of them. We think our chosen beliefs happen to agree with what’s told to us, instead of us mirroring them. In other words, it’s the Bandwagon Effect.

People want to be right. They want to be part of the winning side. Part of the reason people conform is that they look to other people in their social group for information about what is right or acceptable.

This is tough to accept. No one likes thinking their deeply held values are a mere reflection of what they’ve been told. I’ve seen people get so defensive at this idea it’s scary.

But it’s important to accept this weakness in our thinking. Acceptance is the first step to better defining our values. To see where they line up with society and where they diverge. They should be because we chose them for our reasons, based on our integrity and morals.