Monday, October 4, 2021

Herd Mentality

People don’t know how to stand out anymore. Not really.

If everyone watches a certain show, do you feel like you must also see it?

If everyone goes to eat at a certain new restaurant, do you feel you must also go try it?

If everyone arounds us tends to stand for a certain Presidential candidate, so many of us find ourselves following the group and leaning that way, as well.

If most people in our lives partake in a certain behavior, whatever that is, have you found that you tend to lean into that activity as well? Even if at one point you felt differently about it?

If you work at an organization and everyone is coming up with statements on certain social justice issues - do you find that you feel your organization must do so as well?

It has a name. It’s called “herd mentality”. And we fall into it so often.

It’s not always bad. Sometimes “herd mentality” can lure us out of a sedentary or solitary existence. Sometimes it can beckon us to take care of our mental or physical health.

But a lot of times, it can woo us into things that we otherwise wouldn’t have partaken in. 

It can, without us realizing it, cause us to get used to allowing boundaries to be broken, compromise to be common-place, and discernment, to be pushed aside in our lives.

And that is so, so dangerous.

“Herd mentality” can convincingly shut up our individual thinking, and our distinct voice in a world that needs it.

We were created to be unique and diverse.. And society has cunningly stifled any unique, wise, individual, or different thinking - right out of us.

We are becoming carbon copies of each other.

We have been lured into “sameness” in the quest for acceptance.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be like everyone else. The most fascinating people, are the people who are comfortable in their own skin. Walking in their own trails. They look different. Talk different. Feel different. And are comfortable “standing out”.

They stand on their principles. They are comfortable being left out of a circus that they know they don’t belong in, or don’t want to take part in.

They may be called rebels, in a world where the true rebels are the ones who all take part in what once was “disdained” - together. 

They lead the pack, instead of simply walking in the middle of a herd that they aren’t really sure knows where they are going.

They know their voice, their thoughts, and their feelings. And they’ve kept them.

There is a lot of pressure to conform. There is a lot of “wooing” of us to take part in what everyone else is doing, and thinking.

Don’t fall for it.

Stay individualistic. Stay discerning. Know your own beliefs.

Stand by them. For them. With them.

And then help others learn how to do the same.

We were not created to all be alike.

It’s okay to “miss out”. Don’t watch that show. Don’t get that ‘thing’. 

Listen to your heart. Your gut.

Stand out. And feel free.