When we are critical about others’ practices little do we realise that there are occasions when we are guilty of the same practices. I always prided myself on being individualistic and a non-conformist who did not do anything to fit in with mediocrity. Yet the other day, when I stepped out of my humble abode for purchasing a few items that had escaped my well thought out and well planned fortnightly shopping list, I came across an unusual spectacle in the shopping center’s parking lot. The speed at which the collision had occurred had made a burgundy coloured car nearly ascend on a silver grey car already parked in the lot. The accident scene had a small crowd of bystanders who were busy taking photos and videos of the damaged cars and I conjectured that the collision would have taken place fifteen to thirty minutes ago as the original gathering had obviously started to thin out. I slowed down my gait to survey the scene that had arrested the attention of the few who were engrossed in their struggles to get a good photograph or angle. My hands snaked into my jacket pocket and unconsciously I came to a halt. I then busied myself with deletions of bursts in order to create space on my device as the storage limit was exceeded and clicked one or two photos of the accidental vehicles.
Thoughtlessly I chucked the mobile into my handbag that I had worn on my left shoulder and entered Coles. While I was walking through the aisles looking for the items I needed, I suddenly felt ashamed of the way I had behaved. For some unexplained and unknown reason, scenes from Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ came flooding to my mind. First, the scene in which the crowd was shown to be in consensus with Mark Anthony when he addressed them as “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;”sprang to my mind. Employing a simple technique called repetition he had challenged the mob’s trust and belief in Senator Brutus by calling him “an honourable man” a significant number of times before he concluded the speech. Another scene that had strayed into my temporal lobes was the one that had immediately followed Anthony’s speech; an inspiring speech by Brutus that had snatched the mob from the spell of persuasion that Anthony had cast over them and had regained their trust by pitching the same word “honour” for which he was known and by projecting his love for Rome being greater than the love he had for Caesar as his justification for the assassination that had ensued. The focus of both the speeches being mob tendencies. I was no different from that mob as I was easily swayed by my emotions, influenced by the few bystanders and had eventually succumbed to the temptation of capturing the moment on camera to share it with friends and family over tea or dinner.