Not too long ago three new dolls joined our playroom family. Muscleman and Bobble-head St. Patrick were the first to settle in and it didn’t take long before Muscleman began imposing his will, bullying the other dolls. He was constantly jostling Bobble-head St. Patrick and causing the rest of us grief.
But then Athena showed up.
Scale can be very disparate among dolls and Athena has a considerable size advantage over most all the rest of us. That fact plus Athena Parthenos’ warrior mentality quickly changed the playroom dynamic.
Muscleman, as you can imagine, has a very large ego and he initially refused to recognize that his days of domination were over. Athena had to whack him down a couple of times before he got the message. Even then he continued to yell and boss dolls around but eventually things settled down and Athena no longer needed to wield her physical size and strength to maintain the peace.
The playroom has always been, up until Muscleman showed up, pretty egalitarian. Most everyone tolerates others’ idiosyncrasies without too much complaint. But, the turmoil did get me thinking about how tenuous group dynamics can be-how opinions can form and change and political pressures can develop-what can happen when a strong personality feels compelled to impose its will.
Bobble-head St. Patrick is really quite a pleasant doll but he does have the reputation of being quite strong willed. What if he suddenly got the notion to evangelize and got some (maybe a lot) of the other dolls to embrace his religious beliefs? Would we all then be expected to follow the tenets of their beliefs?
And then there’s Mini-Max, who’s quite materialistic. He’s been accumulating toys of his own for some time. He’s already been hinting that he could use more shelf space. What if he began bribing dolls-offering them favorite treats in order to acquire more room for his possessions? Would the rest of us end up having to live in the closet?
Well, hopefully my imaginings are nothing more than just that. But, it does make me think a just and fair judicial system is nothing to sneeze at.