Are we rats or men?
As Hayakawa tells us in his final chapter (“Rats and Men”), “social institutions tend to change slowly” even when the necessity for them ceases to exist. Ah, change –
a difficult thing for both “mice and men”. Hayakawa continues to explain to us that the fear of change has caused the problems of “cultural lag”.
We have indeed become a global society. With the proliferation and ease of procurement of technology of all types, we are “one world”. Humanity seems to resist the
fast and furious change that is coming everyday; we fear the sudden change to the new and sometimes puzzling “thing”, whatever it might be. Some of us don’t even
understand it. I’m sure you have a parent or grandparent who laughs at “pads” and “pods” and “androids”. Where are the good old days when we simply dialed the number
we wanted and someone answered.
Hayakawa presents the question: are we rats or men?
“As social dislocations grow more serious, fear and confusion spread. As fear and confusion spread, societies, like individuals, grow increasingly disturbed at their
failure to solve their problems.”
Will we drive ourselves to a nervous breakdown like the rat? Will we continue to perceive the situation at hand as insoluble? What can save us?
cover sheet, introductory paragraph, supporting paragraphs, and conclusion.