Years ago, Indian tribes became quite smart about how to maximize their hunting of the buffalo. Realizing that the buffalo looks down when it was running, it was fairly easy to startle a herd from one direction, so that they just started running forward in the other direction.
One buffalo would follow the rest of the herd and off they would run, not knowing really where they were running, but feeling safe because for this one buffalo, every other buffalo was running in the same direction. Little did the herd know that they were about to run right off a cliff to their death.
One glaring lesson from this is for each of us to be mindful of the power of a group. Few people want to stand out and be seen as “different”. Most of us will do whatever we can to avoid conflict, so that conformity to the group becomes a priority.
But, please keep in mind that each of us is responsible for our own actions. We can be influenced by “what every one else is doing”. However just because the trend is moving in a certain direction, it doesn’t mean we should follow it.
Be a “thoughtful” person. I’m not saying “thoughtful” in the sense of being kind to others, which you should be. What I mean by “thoughtful” is to take the time to understand why you are or are not doing something. Don’t base your decisions on what others do or don’t do. You decide for yourself.
After all, maybe if you were one of those buffalo that I mentioned earlier, you would stop to say, “Hey, maybe all of us are moving in the direction of that cliff up ahead and its not such a good idea after all!”