#9 Herd Mentality

Hey there,

 

This one is about breaking free.

He belonged to a small community; a community that couldn’t fathom having rights because they barely knew the meaning of it. In retrospect, they didn’t have anything at all, at least not compared to the village nearby, let alone the bigger cities around. Making a decent living was confined to the bare minimum - shelter, food and clothes. No one was complained though. How could you, when this was all that you knew existed?

He had a different mindset though. He knew he had to put them on the map, one way or another, just like Zlatan did Sweden. He didn’t have a roadmap, all he had was an urge. An urge to be something, something more than just letting time pass by while he waits for his inevitable death.

To escape the community’s mantra of eat, work and sleep, he’d cycle out and look for ways to learn. Travel, as for many of us, became his way of learning about new things and he grasped everything within his reach (or at least his cycle’s reach). It wasn’t smooth sailing. People around him were like crabs in a bucket. If one tried to escape, they’d claw them back in. And they weren’t subtle about it either.

“What are you trying to do? Our forefathers tried, they left for bigger things and never came back. They failed. You’re going to be no different. Stick with the herd. Follow our teachings. There’s nothing out there that’s meant for you,” they scolded.

He’d remain silent. It was pointless arguing with them. And saying something would only be a waste of time, time that he could use to learn something new.

Eventually, he began moving out of his community, meeting like-minded people and spending more time with them. He started realising his potential… he felt more alive, day after day. He’d put his learnings to application, visiting random stores, impersonating the man he wanted to become. Communication, body language, appearance, he changed everything about him. The most important thing he learnt however, was the act of embracing the change. He didn’t accept everything that was taught to him. He filtered out the stuff that didn’t make sense.

Years later, he made something of himself. He had more respect, self-esteem, money than all the people of the community combined. He would often revisit his origins, never with the intention of ridicule but to make a change in others like him, especially the children. The community didn’t support him until they had seen proof and once they did, they pushed everyone to be more like him.

When people asked him about what kept him going, he smiled and replied, “The fear of being stagnant.”

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