Life teaches us many lessons that are not always easy to understand nor, for that matter, are they all that easy to accept. Some people are of the mind that whatever nature dictates must be right, whereas others rail against such structured and restrictive thinking and battle its constraints.
That way therein lies heartache.
To stand away from the crowd and argue that they are wrong and only you are right can oftentimes be seen as foolish or even downright stupid. There may be an element of truth in that viewpoint. However, just because you think you are a sheep, you have been trained to think and act like a sheep and you behave like a sheep does not necessarily mean that being a sheep is the be-all and end-all of existence. Life has far more to offer the individual than it does just to another face in the crowd.
The crowd, though, does not approve of individuals. The crowd feels much safer and secure in the security of everybody doing exactly the same as everyone else: talking the same language, saying the same things, thinking the same thoughts and agreeing on everything so that their safe little world is not disordered or the fabric of their tiresome days is not ruffled to any great extent.
Woebetide the individual!
Disapproval, disgust, disharmony and distrust accompany the individual on his lonely journey towards separateness from the crowd. He is feared, misrepresented, misinterpreted and misunderstood for having views that do not accord for what passes as ‘the norm’ amongst the many. Ostracization and marginalisation often befall him in his quest to be heard above the babble of the many.
It is a long, hard and lonely path to tread as an individual as many have learned to their cost. Some – maybe of weaker stock than they believed themselves to be – succumb to the pressure and fall-in with the accepted wisdom of the herd and learn to conform and abandon their ideals. Others reach a compromise position whereby they appear to be a part of the herd but are, in fact, only taking from the herd that which suits them. This type of person is also known as a hypocrite and should really not be trusted.
Then there is the true individual; the person who refuses to conform, to bow down to peer pressure and to accept and be bound by the rules just because they are there. The true individual knows that the path he beats is strewn with obstacles, pitfalls and much sorrow and heartache. However, the true individual also knows that he feels so much better about himself because he overcomes more battles than he loses; that his victories feel and taste that much sweeter because he has not had to compromise himself or his principles. He remains unbowed, unbroken and unrepentant. He remains true to himself.
Yes, there are times when he would like to play like all the other boys and girls… but he likes his mental and emotional freedom too much to join them in their sandpit.