When the farmer goes to his field to feed his animals, only a few see him, they stop and change directions to start moving quickly towards the farmer and the feed. It happens every time, after the first few begin the move, the rest of the herd start moving in the same direction as those herd leaders. They will push and knock each other out of the way if they have to. It is funny to me because the majority of the herd can’t even see the farmer or the feed. They simply see movement and assume “that’s where I need to be.” Sheep, cows and people- it is all basically the same story… .Herds.
People are basically sheep in behavior. Books have been written about it, Bible studies. Sermons, there is so much dedicated to this subject because it is inherently true. We blindly follow each other around believing that if this is where everyone is going, it is where we need to be. If they are getting a good deal we should get that too- even if we don’t know what it is or even need it, for that matter. If all of these other people want it so badly, it must be valuable. Have you noticed when a shopping lane is open with no one in line, the majority stays with the herd. They automatically assume it can’t be ok for them otherwise why wouldn’t everyone be there? Maybe it is for the employees or someone special? certainly not me. We are all so afraid to be the first one to break free from the herd and move along at our own pace, to go our own way. So we walk alike, talk alike, dress alike, and think alike… begging to not be singled out. As if, screaming, “I didn’t do anything wrong, It wasn’t me, I’m ok, I’m just here with the herd.” But here is the funny twist to that behavior, once we do realize that this open lane is for everyone, when the first free thinker strolls straight up to the front, then everything switches to slow-motion and the herd begins darting their eyes around to see what is happening, who else will bravely move out of the pack? Once the first person breaks out it signals to the herd that this in now becoming the accepted norm and others rush to fall in line behind their fearless leader. It is a chain reaction…. the spry younger herd began wheeling their carts like an armed weapon. It’s begun…. Watch out. Fights’, pushing, arguing, dirty looks, true herd behavior.
I went to the store yesterday for a few items and felt a panic rush through my system as if I were already too late! We are in the thick of the holidays this week- and so it begins. Good luck and God bless you. It’s going to become crazy town USA. It’s a race with the clock. This holiday herding didn’t used to happen until Thanksgiving week but advertising and marketing companies have thrown that timeline out the window and have incorporated Halloween into the holidays so we have about 3 months of madness. Pre Pre Pre Black Friday Panic hits not even on Friday alone. Now we have made Thursday night the true “black Friday”. If you are the first in line you will get a big screen TV for five bucks! If you wait until Friday morning you get some dust bunnies and a Walkman. You have missed it- no top shelf chocolate for your kids. You are left with a sack of palmer chocolate Christmas bells – the Butterfinger bells?? …. long gone. You can kiss the candy cane of Hershey kisses goodbye too, you get the .99 cent “mocolate” When I was younger, my mom, sister and I were right there at 4:00 a.m. in the thick of it- camping out to save our spot to secure that years’ impossible to get toy- the newest video system and game, the Singing Frozen doll, singing Elmo, the new star wars action figures. The doors opened, we locked arms to hold our place and our lives. The first of the three of us to make it to the ultimate treasure would grab it; throw it to our person highest in the herd. This person would secure the package and run to get in line while the rest of us found the other items. We lost all sensibility and it was a scene! Fun memories to reflect on but I have thankfully been out of that race for quite sometime. I’m getting it online delivered wrapped to my house.
Our world is in a huge hurry to go everywhere and it is really are getting nowhere – blinding following each other off cliffs. Everyone is in line to see what everyone else is looking at. Have you ever gone into a store and no one is there at all but the instant you walk in, it seems the whole mall runs to where you are. They start looking at the very item you are looking at- reaching over you to get it first. Selfish people. I’ve always said, if I were a business owner of any kind, the best way to be successful is to put all your advertising money in paying people to park their cars in your parking lot and gawk around your business. We all want what we believe everyone else wants. Or when you’re in traffic and you put on your blinker to change lanes, the person behind you speeds up so you can’t get in front of them- why? Why do people do that? Sometimes I put my blinker on just to see f it is still true- always is. I’m of the mind set that if we all help each other, things will work out better for everyone involved. I welcome someone going faster than me while driving- I’ll gladly let you be front car, if someone is getting a speeding ticket, it isn’t going to be me. This is who we naturally are though, selfish people. This is the root of our sinful nature. James 3:16 tell us, “For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”
I think I notice this more because I’m a bit like my mom was. She always went in the out door and out the in door. If it said push she would pull. If someone told her it couldn’t be done she would prove to you that it could be done.” If everyone is over here then we will go over there. If they say stand, she would find someplace to sit. If most people did it one way, she’d find a better way. If the price were too expensive than we’d find a way to get it for the reasonable price. I guess I followed her around long enough for it to become my way too. My quirky unyielding Mom is in heaven for 6 years now, and I will someday gladly follow her there!
So here is my takeaway for you today. Don’t get mindlessly suckered into the herd – have a plan, be your own person, think for yourself and most importantly, think of others before thinking of yourself. Be selfless not selfish.
Philippians 2:3 “don’t be selfish…. be humble, thinking of others a more important than yourselves.”