As a conscientious observer of contemporary America, the viewing of the mass assembly of men, women and children of all ages and ethnicities, anxiously await the Inauguration of our 44th President take his oath of office, my amazement was focused not on the oration of President Obama, but of the collective experience of mass good will.
This led me to explore the common denominator of several explosive related topics: racial, mob and fan etiquette. Regardless of the venue, when individuals gather at political rallies, demonstrations or sports events inclusive of little league, the event can depart from enjoyable social function to acts of violence.
Without a doubt, there are two active factors involved in mass etiquette: (1) Intensity of passion, and (2) lack of personal responsibility.
The intensity of passion can be a double-edge sword. Not only does it provide a fountain for entertainment, civic pride, camaraderie and inspiration, it also is the glue that can bind the hate and prejudice.
Bob Still, Communication Manager for the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) believes we live in a society that has a need to blame other people when things do not go our way, aka "cult of victim logy."
Regardless of the psychological Convergence Theory whereby the greater the number of homogeneous individuals in a crowd equates to a higher level of arousal and a lessened inhibitions will increase the likelihood of collective behavior, we are still individuals.
As an individual we can contribute to mass etiquette by exploring your individual participation in the event. It is inherent of each individual to question
o Motives: Why am I at this event?
o Moral Principles: Would I participate in these actions outside of this event?
o Consequences: Is this action deemed legal or appropriate?
Consequently, one does not need to deny their passion or intensity, but accept as in the discourse of President Obama's speech's reference to a return to personal responsibility as the forefront of positive individual contribution to mass etiquette.