A while back I skried the geomantic figure Populus and posted the results here. Yesterday's, tragic events at a Walmart are a reflection of these words from that post, "...Slowly, I tried to make sense of what I was feeling because I certainly wasn't seeing anything. Thoughts of teenage school yard clicks came to mind. Then the idea of a lack of will. People moving with the crowd have no sense of individuality. They have a vague idea of their own but it is so irrelevant that they can't take a step toward any sympathy for another's emotions. This is why so many horrible things happen in big cities. This is why so much petty small things happen in big cities. This is why high school clicks can be so mean. In a crowd, we actually get removed from others."
In this case, replace the words "another's emotions" with "other people's lives".
I will not wax poetic about the absurdity of this sort of behavior in quest for material objects but I will say going with a crowd can be a very dangerous thing for both yourself and others. I have a tendency to go against the grain of society. One of my clinician friends says I'm have oppositional defiant disorder. Her joking diagnosis does have a ring of truth. That trait landed me in some bad places, as indicated by a quote from the same post, "The function of Populus is to coalesce. It brings like together. This thought led to asking about my time in Wicca. I heard that I refused to coalesce with what was forming..." but so to, did I get stampeded by people just going with the crowd that didn't have the personal will to oppose bad behavior.
I've never been ashamed of not falling into the need to accept bad behavior just because it was popular with the crowd to go along. I view this as a personal strength that can become a weakness.
Those in the Walmart crowd that had enough Via in them to walk away from that maelstrom did the right thing. Via is a much harder road but I bet the "Via's" in the crowd slept well last night. The "Populus" folks, will have some internal reckoning to do. Hopefully, some legal repercussions will also occur.
Populus and Via played out through the news this weekend. So many people will wring their hands and say how terrible it is and then stand around the water cooler at work and remain silent as some bit of bad behavior is being defended. After all, that is the crowd pleasing thing to do.