“If ever it’s necessary to ride the bandwagon, it’s done with one leg swinging out and eyes scoping the fields.” ― Criss Jami (Killosophy)
TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about what it means to jump on the bandwagon. The phrase is from the mid-nineteenth century and attributed to Phones T Barnum who, as a circus owner and showman, would urge audience to jump on the wagon that carried the circus band (a literal bandwagon). In the modern lexicon, “jumping on the bandwagon” usually refers to individuals supporting a person, team, idea or activity after it is popular or successful.
There is nothing wrong with supporting a movement or idea; in fact, you should curate movements that align with your mores, challenge your beliefs, and allow you to develop as a thoughtful creature. My issue with the pursuit of merely popular or successful people or ideas is that they limit your ability for independent thought. To join a collective for the mere sake of popularity, limits choice, and aggrandizes mass effect.
There is convenience in joining a bandwagon. There is instant common ground that, while at times merely superficial, allows connection and fabric to take hold. But, and you know how I fell about convenience – it breeds complacency – and this is where trouble begins. As you become complacent, history shows us with a multitude of examples that it becomes easier to succumb to groupthink and lose objectivity amidst the loud voices of a large group.
Be wary of bandwagons and, as the existential philosopher Criss Jami so nicely summarizes above, if you must ride a bandwagon, do so with one leg out the cart and be ready to move. Look for a landscape that challenges you as an individual. Realize that autonomous pursuit is lost on the backs of most bandwagons.
MEDICINE & MACULA: Check out one of our recent publications, Novel Technique for Submacular Hemorrhage Removal Using 27-Gauge Pars Plana Vitrectomy and Recombinant Tissue Plasminogen) Activator (Kunyong Xu MD MHSc, Eric K Chin MD, John B Davies MD & David RP Almeida MD MBA PhD).
Many thanks to the Journal of VitreoRetinal Diseases for publishing our work!
GRATIS: “If you see a bandwagon, it’s too late.” -James Goldsmith
My best to you,