Note: These are the author’s interpretation of quotes said in a context completely separate from today. General Patton was not speaking of 2018, and he certainly wasn’t concerned with what the popular culture might look like nowadays.

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”

Thinking in terms of groups is nothing new — we are, after all, creatures who have survived based on our ability to contribute to a group. If everyone in a tribal society can agree that they need food, they will agree to work together to develop a system of efficiently gathering or hunting food, and another system to prepare it. They all function under the one same objective that they can all agree upon: they need food.

As ancient civilization has transformed into an industrial, modern society, we have taken these feelings natural to the human condition and applied them where they don’t belong — to strange places in everyday life in the 21st century. We apply it to incredibly complex things like politics, and use the group-think mentality to build up our own “side” in order to make it as strong as possible.

What ends up happening, especially when discussing politics, is that we become more interested in bolstering our side than anything else — often times we are more interested in that than thinking independently. It is highly unlikely that any group of individual thinkers are going to happen to all believe the same things. If you find yourself among likeminded people, that’s fine, but if you find yourself among likeminded people who you never happen to profoundly disagree with on anything — then perhaps you may take Gen. Patton’s advice and realize: somebody isn’t thinking.

“Do more than is required of you.”

In today’s age, we train ourselves to complete the bare minimum.

“I’m going to college — but school sucks. I hate the education system we have today, but I need a degree. ‘Cs get degrees,’ and while I could study, improve myself and go above and beyond, I’m going to slide on by doing as little as possible.”