Mimicking doesn’t work! Understand why you do things…

Cargo Cult
Ever hear of “Cargo Cult“?

“A cargo cult is a religious practice that has appeared in many traditional pre-industrial tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures. The cults focus on obtaining the material wealth (the “cargo”) of the advanced culture through magic and religious rituals and practices. Cult members believe that the wealth was intended for them by their deities and ancestors. Cargo cults developed primarily in remote parts of New Guinea and other Melanesian and Micronesian societies in the southwest Pacific Ocean, beginning with the first significant arrivals of Westerners in the 19th century. Similar behaviors have, however, also appeared elsewhere in the world.

Cargo cult activity in the Pacific region increased significantly during and immediately after World War II, when the residents of these regions observed the Japanese and American combatants bringing in large amounts of matériel. When the war ended, the military bases closed and the flow of goods and materials ceased. In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behavior that they had observed of the military personnel operating them.”

The red thin line throughout this story is that mimicking doesn’t work! Attempting to recreate succesful outcome by replicating circumstances associated with the outcome, although those circumstances are unrelated to the causes of the outcome or insufficient to produce them by themselves, will fail! In our day-to-day lives, we come across this situation frequently. People who repeat a given ritual just because they were told to do so, without knowing why they actually do it. Let’s get down to earth, and reflect by looking towards our own job… Are their aspects where we just repeat things we’re said, without actually knowing why we do it? *silence*

The tail of the fish
There is another, not so known story, that reflects to the same situation.

A mother is baking a fish. Before she throws in the fish, she chops of the tail. The little daughter asks; “Mommy, why do you chop of the tail?”. The mother replies; “Because my mother did so.” The little daughter visits the grandmother a week later and asks ; “Granny, why do you chop of the tail of a fish before baking it?”. The grandmother replies; “Because my mother did so.” That week, the little girl visits her great-grandmother in the nursing home and ask here ; “Nana, why do you chop of the tail of a fish before baking it?”. The great-grandmother replies; “Because the pan was to small for the fish. So we chopped of the tail so it would fit!”.

So know why you are doing this… Mimicking might work out sometimes, yet in most of the cases you will not be working efficiently.

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