Yesterday we talked Horse. If you didn’t read that post yet, go take a quick look and I’ll meet you back here presently.
Today I want to talk with you about another H word that came out of my conversation with Maggie yesterday. The word is Herd (Well don’t you know about the Herd? Well, everybody knows that the Herd is the word! A-well-a Herd, Herd, Herd is the word… Oh sorry, got into a Peter Griffin loop there).
So what do we know about Herds and WTF has it got to do with internet marketing?
Well it’s more about what is has to do with life.
Human beings are a herd animal. Since time immemorial we have lived in herds called communities and behaved with a herd mentality. The latest craze (pick one, any one) is an example of herd mentality. We rely on our peers and those we respect to teach us the correct response to something, the acceptable opinion to have, the appropriate way of doing things. As babies we learn what words get us a slap and which get us a smile. Years later we teach these same ‘rules’ to our children, and so on ad inifinitum. Everything we are, believe, do and say, we do because we are a herd animal and we learn from those around us.
So does this mean that our individuality is destined to be crushed by the power of the herd? Can we function only as a faceless member of a greater herd?
No, not at all. As a species, homo sapiens have unique abilities. Creativity, adaptability and inventiveness are all key aspects to our dominance as a species, and to the dominance of certain members of our species over the rest of us.
But it is important to recognise that these three abilities are present in all of us, and that each member of our human herd is unique. This is something to be celebrated, nurtured and exercised not only in others but most importantly in ourselves.
In a culture predicated on the herd mentality, those who appear unique are celebrated. That’s what ‘celebrity’ means. We value the unique for their creativity, their one-of-a-kind-ness, and not least because it allows us to remain part of the non-descript herd. It’s so much easier to be beige than multi-coloured, yet under our dowdy fledgling feathers we all have the colours of a peacock waiting to shine.
So shine. You are not ‘ordinary’, but who will know if you don’t display your feathers?
A herd of unique beings is so much more interesting to look at (and be a part of) than a herd of all-the-same. And remember, the unique are celebrated. But who celebrates those they consider ordinary?
You are not an island, your success does not depend on the failure of others. These are important benefits of the herd. But there is no shame in seeking to be the best you can be, whatever that means to you. Rather the shame lies in the acceptance of being ‘ordinary’. Especially when you truly aren’t.
So the question is, do you have the courage to show your colours?