Thoughts, repeated, become stories.
Stories, repeated for a group, become values.
Values, repeated for a nation, become truths.
Values can start arguments. Truths can start wars.
When we are a member of a family, or an company, or a nation, we are implicitly agreeing to the collective stories of that group.
Some stories lead to great things. President Kennedy's promise to put a man on the moon comes to mind. Others lead us astray.
I have a friend who worked for a company that identified the bottom twenty percent (by work group) each year and fired them. The company wanted people to challenge themselves to be better. Instead, fear took over. The survivors were those who were best at making their colleagues look bad.
We owe it to ourselves to identify and, when called for, challenge not only our own stories, but those of the groups that we are part of. And if that doesn't work, we can find better groups. Or start them.