Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Why Is There So Much More Now Than Back In The Day?

Change tends to freak people out. Especially if it’s loud. So naturally, social activism causes many people to go completely bananas. Especially when there are so many groups demanding things to be different.

And if the news is any indication, there seem to be about a jillion advocates for change.

Let’s look at why that number is so high.

To help explain, I prepared an image of a plane covered in pepperonis. (The pepperonis are actually dots that represent bullet holes.)


Credit: Martin Grandjean, McGeddon and Cameron Moll.

Suppose you’re an engineer and a group of airplanes similar to the one above return to the hangar. All of them riddled with holes.

Your job is to increase the odds of survival for the next flight.

Where do you add extra plates to increase their defenses?

If you’re like most people, you’ll think to thicken the places that were struck by enemy fire.

But that’s not very helpful.

The areas that ought to be reinforced are those that took zero damage. After all, if a plane makes it back looking like Swiss cheese, that tells you that those bullet holes don’t hurt its ability to fly.

But the places that are in perfect condition?

Those are apparently crucial to its survival. Because the planes that are struck in those vulnerable areas never seem to make it back.

In other words: we tend to overlook silent evidence.

What we don’t see, we generally don’t consider an issue.

Now back to our vast number of social activists. Where are these people seeking better treatment and/or spreading awareness coming from?

The same place as always.

They’ve always been here, we just didn’t see them.

Sexual harassment and assault were always around, but for the longest time, there wasn’t a place for the survivors to check in. Environmentalists have been talking about climate change as early as 1896. And your argumentative grandpa who knew every answer to Jeopardy! and ate the same meal for lunch from a divided plate for his entire life was definitely autistic even though that term didn’t yet exist.

I know it can feel annoying when everyone has ADHD, a letter of the LGBT, and a gluten allergy.

But these people have always been around. You probably just didn’t know about it until they got a platform to stand on.

Not convinced?

Here’s one more argument, this time involving lefties.

Back in the late-Victorian era, left-handed people were forced to write with their right hand. It was often seen as a bad sign. A dark omen. 

Can you guess what happened once the bias against lefties was dropped in the 1950s?

The amount of left-handers sky rocketed. Not enough to be considered common, but on average today, one out of ten people is southpaw.

And it’s likely always been that way. 

But we didn’t know it until we allowed them to be and started paying attention.

And when it comes to sizeable social groups demanding change, such is often the case. No wonder they might be a little frustrated.

They’ve been waiting to be heard for a long time.

Does their message bother you?

Just look away and focus on a problem that actually concerns you. It’s not that difficult.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach