The road less traveled by
What “Above the herd” is about:
Unfortunately, now more than ever, Americans need to look up and look around. Stop following the herd. Stop being one of the many sheeple who just timidly accepts what society is dictating as “the thing to do.” We do so many things just because “everyone else is doing it,” and the unintended consequences to us personally, and to society as a whole, can be devastating.
The idea of “following the herd” as a negative connotation has its origins in the early Native American Western United States. Hunters would chase buffalo herds over cliffs as a clever means of killing their prey. This worked so well because even if the buffalo in the front of the herd saw the drop-off up ahead, the rest of the herd, with heads down, failed to see the danger and kept running and pushing the herd forward. They called this tactic a “buffalo jump,” but it was more like a collective death leap.
You could make the same argument about modern livestock being led to their deaths in the slaughterhouse. Cattle merely follow the rest of the herd…to their deaths.
We humans tend to do the same thing. We “follow the crowd” without question. We assume that the majority knows what the hell it’s doing, so we just follow like gullible livestock. We should instead be vigilant by looking “above the herd” to see whether the herd is going to a place we want to go, or if they are being led to danger.
Don’t go places or do things just because the herd is going there. The herd very often is not as smart as you think they are. There’s a good reason for that old parental saying, “If Johnny jumped off a bridge would you?” It’s because our parents knew that often where Johnny was going was not a good place.
“Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson