“Why do you always yell at me? I don’t really care what we do.”
This was what the woman in the next car was saying to her presumed husband. I’m sitting in a parking garage waiting for the Bride and her family. It turned into a really rainy day so a trip to the aquarium was in order. This random woman was yelling about something Dr Jim had just told me about, the Abilene Paradox.
This paradox is almost like “group think” or committee work, it occurs when a group of people decide to do something that is counterintuitive to each individual. In other words, it’s the old go with the flow. It’s like getting caught up in the Gulf Stream going the wrong way.
Imagine everybody is sitting on the front porch and the grandfather says “Hey let’s go up to Abilene for dinner!” He’s thinking aloud and hasn’t been there since he was a kid. The whole family agrees. Except the drive of 50 miles becomes interminable, the kids are cranky and once they arrive the restaurant is no longer there. One by one each family member realizes they didn’t really want to go to Abilene for dinner.
If you’ve ever been vacationing with a group I’m sure you’ve experienced this paradox. How the heck did I get here?
Well I’m glad we all decided to go to the aquarium. We saw an albino alligator named Alabaster. The Love Bug touched a starfish. And Bob found out what that bird was in our driveway – a juvenile White Ibis! Here is his buddy, an Egret!