I think I’ve had an epiphany, (lol yes I have those and I'd like to share it with you) so here how it goes,
In the animal kingdom, to be an individual and to stand out from the crowd can mean certain death; Flamingos are a good example of this. During the hot summer seasons (in South Africa I believe) Flamingos flock together in their millions in a vast lake. The summer time is treacherous and so Baboons also flock to the lake in hopes to grab a meal, (although Baboons don’t usually eat Flamingos, but hey it’s hot and food is scarce)
To be an individual, in such a big flock means a high risk of being eaten by the Baboons. The individual stands out of the crowd and lives on the edge of the flock…and although they are their own person it comes at a cost, the colourful individualistic flamingo is killed because it is the outsider who is living by their own standards, and it becomes pray to hungry to a Baboon.
Nature such as this is so unbelievably close to the moralistic world in which we humans dwell. If you replace the flamingo with a person who doesn’t like to follow the crowds, an individual, and change the Baboon to a stereo-clinging wannabe who is at the top of the so called ‘social ladder’ and you can clearly see the uncanny similarities. The ‘social queen/king’ will attack the person who is on the edge of the crowd, the perhaps, weakest of the flock.
So what does this mean? To be different means we have to suffer the pain of being individual? Uniqueness comes at a price? To be on the edge of the flock makes us weak and susceptible to predators?
Don’t get me wrong, we are all individual every single human-being is different after all; I mean more along the social scale.
So to be different socially means that we become pray?
The answer, well I’m not sure there is one. This is one of those things in which everyone has an opinion, and here is mine.
Yes, to be an individual socially means you become susceptible to the jeers and gibes of peers, but, to be and individual in a crowd of other similar individuals means that you are socially stronger. The rest comes down to character, to be an individual and be able to withstand the ‘peer pressure’ makes you stronger, while a weaker character, like the flamingo on the edge of the flock, is more likely to break due to the pressure and be ‘eaten’ by the Baboon.
‘There is safety on numbers; you just have to find the right numbers to be safe in.’ this is my epiphany…
What are your thoughts?