Today’s meme or just the même

It’s strange stuff sleep, and like many things we take it for granted.  Maybe one step back from the bleeding obvious and we’d see things with renewed (but half closed) eyes rationalising it away.  But, to me, even if the ultra-clever, universally unchallenged, dolphins do it – well, it just seems mad.  It’s incredible, for all our energetic, logical, enthusiasm we will all just shut down for a third of each day. Clunk!

Yet praise be! Without it, the hotel groups wouldn’t be investing in preserved goods, dressed up as continental breakfasts, that are impersonating good morning freshness for £8.95.

If we can do the Peter Pan thing by flying, and make ourselves ten years younger, then we must be able to defy evolution, make with the TV, and stop ourselves going on standby.  We could do this through Motivation, Science and Nutrition.  MSN anyone?

But we can’t.  And, although I don’t know this for sure, I don’t think it is a plot by the Forte family or the Dorchester Group’s shareholders.  Quite simply, there are some things that are so deeply ingrained that, Popeye-esque, “We am what we am”.


We have to accommodate the fundamentals of our human nature making them work for us, rather than deny they ever exist. Sleep is obvious but there are others.

Here’s one.  2,500 years ago (a mere 100 generations) the political leaders persuaded the Ancient Athenians to vote for war.  When news of the subsequent disaster came back the population “Were indignant with the orators……. as if they [the people] had not themselves decreed it”.  Ring any morning alarms for you? Press snooze it might go away.

In my experience deep down in their DNA basement, people want to be valued – at home or at work is the same.  “Thank you” (not obvious for some) is a good start.  They want to believe their quest has meaning, and it is beneficial to themselves and others.  Linked to like-minded people, they want to be associated with, and to celebrate, success.  And they’ll be prepared to follow those who can paint the future vision, highlight the milestones, hand out cakes, and minimise the risks so they can sleep soundly in their beds.

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