Arguments for and against: Do birds of a feather flock together?

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Arguments for and against Do birds of a feather flock together?

‘Birds of a feather flock together” means that similar people, or people with similar interests will tend to gravitate towards each other.

Do birds of a feather flock together? This is an interesting question, and there are arguments on both sides. Let us look, therefore at both sides of the argument.

Arguments in favor of the above phrase: Three arguments in favor of why birds of a feather flock together.

  1. Understanding: people with similar interests and personalities can often perhaps offer each other greater levels of mutual understanding than more diverse groups of people can. In common parlance, they can tell where each other is coming from.
  2. Practicalities: often, it is simply more practical to unite with people who enjoy the same lifestyle as us, as then we can all work together and do the same things (whether those are hobbies or university courses of study) together as a group.
  3. A feeling of community: on a basic level, many people feel a sense of community if they band together with people with whom they are identifiably similar. This sense of community might come from working at the same place, from liking similar books or from living on the same street.

Arguments against the above phrase: Three reasons why birds of a feather do not flock together.

  1. Opposites attract: it is an old phrase but one that is borne out very often in our experience of life. Very often, we quite simply find it more interesting to spend time with people who have a different world view to our own. It broadens our perspectives and can teach us something new as well.
  2. No one is exactly alike: we will never find someone who is a total clone of us. So, no group of people is really a set of birds of a feather – look even a little below the surface, one argument goes, and you will see how similar they all really are.
  3. Banding together as a group is not always best for the world: many people argue that we should not be trying to band together as distinct groups, and thus distinguishing ourselves from other (groups of) people. The reason for this is that it can often lead to an overly insular mentality that can lead to conflicts and even in the case of nationalistic countries, to wars.

Conclusion: Whether we prefer hanging out with people who are extremely similar to us, or whether we like to see out people who have a totally different perspective on the world, it is certain that one thing is clear. It is very important to be respectful of all other human beings even if they are not exactly birds of a feather with us. We can celebrate both similarity and difference.

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