Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories.
Like many languages, English uses animals in many of its expressions. And there are thousands of kinds of animals. So, when we talk about them, we put them into different groups.
Take, for example, pack animals.
One kind is an animal used to carry packs, or heavy loads. Donkeys and mules are pack animals. We sometimes call these animals beasts of burden because they help to ease the burden of humans.
Another type of pack animals are the ones that live and hunt in a group, or pack. These include grey wolves and dolphins, just to name a couple.
Running with a pack has many benefits. When animals live in a pack, they work together. There is strength (and safety) in numbers. If you run with a pack, you can depend on others in your group. And there is always someone who has your back, or is ready to fight for you.
We can describe people the same way.
Some like to run with a pack. They like to surround themselves with like-minded people. People can run with a pack that likes the same music, has the same politics or enjoys the same activities.
It is easy to hang out with people who generally agree with you. It is comfortable -- maybe a little too comfortable.
This can lead to a pack mentality, a situation where everyone thinks the same. After time you could become resistant to ever disagreeing, fearful of losing your place in the pack.
We also call this groupthink. This is a situation where members of a group feel pressure to always agree. Groupthink results in failures to think critically about an issue, situation or decision.
Groupthink or pack mentality can even be dangerous.
People caught up in a pack mentality do not think for themselves and can make bad decisions. For example, teenagers might start hanging with other teens who do drugs or commit crimes. So, parents often try to control which pack their child runs with.
With both animals and people, there is usually a leader of the pack.
In our human pack, the leader is the one who calls the shots. They make the decisions for the group.
Some people, however, have no desire to run with a pack. They might be ahead of the pack and are more forward thinking. They do not want to go along with what everyone else is doing. Maybe they are just faster! Or perhaps they simply enjoy the life of a lone wolf.
As a lone wolf you solve problems by yourself. You do not ask for help when making decisions. You are free from pleasing a group. However, you might not have many friends. After all, everything has a cost.
Now, we finish our show with yet another type of pack animal – the pack rat.
This is a small rodent of western North America. Pack rats have large cheek pouches, where they store food and other things. These pouches can fill up fast!
In the human world, pack rats are people who keep things that they do not need. They store them, not in their cheeks, but in their homes, garages and other storage places. A pack rat often says things like, "I can't throw it out. I might it need it someday."
When pack rats collect too much stuff and it interferes with their life -- they have become a hoarder. Hoarders have a difficult time throwing anything away. So, they usually find themselves surrounded by stuff, sometimes even buried under it!
However, sometimes it pays to be a pack rat or at least to know one. One day you just may need something they have collected – a 40-year-old newspaper, a bicycle wheel, or a cow bell. One look in a pack rat's basement or garage and you just might find what you need!
And that's Words and Their Stories. I'm Bryan Lynn. And I'm Anna Matteo.
1.be ready to 准备好；准备做某事
You must be ready to leave at a moment's notice.
2.resistant to 耐……的；抵抗的
Some people are very resistant to the idea of exercise.
3.interfere with 妨碍；干扰
I try not to let work interfere with my personal life.
和群落生活在一起有很多好处。当动物群居时，它们一起劳作，数量多力量大，也安全 。如果和群落在一起，就可以依靠团队中的其他个体 。总有个体会支持你，或者准备好帮你作战 。
我们也称之为群体思维。这种情况下，团队成员会感到压力，这种压力要求他们始终保持一致 。群体思维会导致对一个问题、一种情况或决定缺乏批判性的思考 。
陷入群体心理的人不会独立思考，可能会做出错误的决定。例如，青少年可能开始和其他吸毒或犯罪的青少年混在一起 。所以，父母经常试图控制与孩子一起相处的同伴 。
作为独行侠，你自己解决问题，做决定时不需要帮助，不必取悦一群人。但是，你可能没有很多朋友 。毕竟，一切都有代价 。
在人类世界里，驮鼠指那些保存不需要东西的人。他们不是把这些东西塞进脸颊里，而是放在家中、车库和其他储藏处 。“一只驮鼠”经常用来描述：“我不能把它扔了，总有一天我会需要它 。”