A one year Facebook memory popped up the other day. It extolled the virtues of not running with the pack and being independent and free from the pressures of the group.
I have done my best over the years to embrace this lifestyle, this shoveling sand against the tide. I have seen mixed results. Trying to buck the system, any system, is fraught with pitfalls and dangers that at times I did not understand and sometimes could not handle. But I guess always being ready for "the good fight" is better than the alternative of being someone's or something's bitch 24/7.
I owe my life long efforts at trying to defy convention and finding my own path to my early years as a vagabond military brat. Every year or two years I was dealing with a new town in a new state or country. It has served me well, this growing up in the middle of so many different perspectives, prejudices, and regional mentalities. I think I was better able weed out group bullshit better as an adult because of my formative years as a nomad.
Peer pressure meant little to me by the time I was a productive member of society. And I have always tended to respect the disruptors, the folks who march to their own tunes and don't, without question, follow the herd.
I can understand the draw of belonging to a herd. Allowing a group to take over many of the decisions for us can and often does make life a little smoother on the surface. But all too often, falling into the trap of the herd, we lose the ability to think for ourselves. We stop wondering. We stop asking. We just go with the flow, and become blind followers without a clue.
Groups often are only as moral and ethical as long as the end goals of the group are achieved or seem within reach. Herd mentality though, can destroy the herd's moral and ethical base if the herd perceives threats to them or their doctrines. The herd will forgo what's right for the path of least resistance. The first casualty is often the moral code of the group.
The folks who question the herd's intentions open themselves up to being ostracized, ridiculed and condemned. "Get along or get out" is all too often the first knee jerk reaction of the herd. The group often sees any question as a disloyal attack on them.
Adherence to the group's morals is diluted as the herd gets larger. The herd's goals often become more about keeping the rank and file under control than following the playbook of ethics created with good intentions in the herd's beginnings. The older the herd, the more intractable the beliefs, the usual result.
Somehow, Humanity has had enough people holding enough feet to enough fires that the species has managed to survive this long. The person who stands up to the Herd when they think it has turned a wrong corner is the bravest of us all, even if they are wrong.
Keep it 'tween the ditches ..................................
Took awhile, but I found the song that fits the temperament I wrote this post with. If any song supports standing up for yourself, Tom Petty's, " I Won't Back Down ",does the job and does it well. Over the years I have paid a price for times I didn't back down. ....... I don't regret those times. Regrets have never done a thing for me in the long run.