Stepping away from the Herd

“To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence.” Sun Tzu

I take pride in the fact I am different. Something inside me refuses to follow the masses. What a strange feeling it is to see so many others comfortable, happily going along and yet every part of my soul screams to run as far from it as I can.

If I was a wild animal this attitude would get me killed. Safety is in the numbers. Camouflaged by the blur of colors and movement so not as easily picked off.

But I risk it anyways. Simply too miserable striving and toiling for those who already have so much and yet lack the generosity to share the wealth. The herd does it. Why don’t I see a comfort or safety in this like they all seem to?

The categories so limited, I don’t see a title that fits me. The entertainment produced for mass consumption I barely find amusing. The food prepared for the herd is filled with chemicals and modifications I don’t understand.

Communication within the herd is sometimes so unfriendly to the point of hostile. Perhaps just ignored all together, leaving members left to feel alone while still inside of the herd.

I don’t like not knowing who is leading the herd. I have no clear picture of who or what drives it all along or why. I have no idea where I’m being led, no decision in it. Just keep going until you can’t anymore. Make sure you have everything everyone else does. Try not to get trampled when you can’t keep up.

But when I move away from the herd my soul takes deep breaths of fresh air and starts to relax. It feels the energy calm and allows the sounds of the birds to enter. I can see the herd up ahead in the distance but I don’t care if they go without me. I rather they did.

Though vulnerable and alone in such an enormous world, stripped away from the anonymity the herd provides, I am happy. I look around and see no reflection of myself.

I am reminded of panning for gold. The sifting and shaking and unsettling it takes to filter through all the dirt and mud and earth to find the tiny flecks of worth. The water rinsing away all that is not needed or wanted, leaving the rare nugget behind.

I am also reminded of what most moms seem to tell their children as they grow, “If everyone jumped off a cliff would you do that too?”


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