August 14, 2012
I remember how shocked I was to learn that if you put a frog in a pan of cold water and slowly heated up the frog will not stay in the pan that will jump out when the water becomes uncomfortable. I was shocked because for most of my life I’ve been using that analogy about If you haven’t heard it, it is an analogy that relates to people becoming numb or in different to the situation. The analogy being a frog when placed in cold water that is gradually heated will not perceive the gradual temperature increase and allow himself to be boiled just because he had become desensitized to the situation he was in and the need for action.
This analogy is typically used in situations where people have become numb to the situation around them when an outside observer would see in an instant that thier situation was a dire or morally reprehensible or just foolish/absurd.
So, even though the frog analogy doesn’t work with frogs it may still be applicable to our culture. Historically, there are numerous examples of when cultures became numb to the things that were going on around them. In the 1800s, there was heinous child labor going on whose atrocities were brought into the cultural limelight by Jonathan Swift. Women’s suffrage, slavery, civil rights, gay rights, abortion, the plight of Africans, emasculation of our culture, nudity and sexual promiscuity in our culture, to name a few.