By in Relationships

I Want to Be That One

Have you ever noticed that when there is a group or herd of grazing animals, most are gathered together in one place or another, but there is always at least one animal who is solitary? This animal is usually found at the fence, sticking its head through the fence to graze from the other side?

I've always admired that solitary animal, the one who broke away from the pack. This animal dares to act differently, to seek what is just beyond its reach, to go beyond the artificial boundaries presented to it.

I don't know about you, but I want to live my life like that -- and do as often as possible. Groupthink has dangers, not the least of which, for me, is losing sight of the possibilities for the sake of conformity. To become so caught up in the rhetoric and dogma of any particular group of individuals seems to me to be akin to being led to slaughter -- the slaughter of individual thought and action.

Yes, as long as I have free will and a competent mind, I will be like that one animal, craning its neck through the fence to reach for the possibilities on the other side. What about you?

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Image Credit » Cow by joami Public Domain/CC0 1.0 License via Pixabay

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Koalemos wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:15 AM

I have always been that animal to some degree and do not simply conform to standard thinking.

MsBiz wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:17 AM

I agree with all of this. I've always been the loan grazer, so to speak. I can remember my granddad talking to me about the importance of thinking for myself and not just going with the crowd before I even started school. The bad thing about it is, it can be lonely at times, but I would rather stick by my convictions, thank for myself, and surround myself with people who are intelligent freethinkers, even if we don't agree on everything.

Briggsy326 wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:20 AM

I wonder whether it is alone in the field because it chooses to or whether the other animals just don't like it. lol (just joking). ;)

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:28 AM

I find there are more free-thinkers than group thinkers, at least among my closest friends.

j2jworkz wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:42 AM

Grouplink is no fun, gazing through the fence has its advantages.

nbaquero wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:47 AM

feisty56 I am usually that one, the one that is in the corner observing and thinking.

HappyLady wrote on February 5, 2015, 11:06 AM

I tend also to be that one standing aside and looking on to see what is really happening. I won't go with pack mentality having spent some of my life with that kind of thinking forced on me. Even then, I was the maverick.

Ruby3881 wrote on February 5, 2015, 11:17 AM

I honestly can't remember ever not being that solitary individual who does her own thing. It is entirely contrary to my character, to conform for the sake of conformity.

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 11:36 AM

It can be a bit lonely at times, not fitting in with one group or another. I try to keep myself open to the possibilities and am enjoy listening to others so I can better understand their perspectives even if I don't agree. It opens up some lively conversations.

MsBiz wrote on February 5, 2015, 11:44 AM

From the responses to this post, I wonder whether writers tend to be more freethinking and independent than others. It would make sense, since writing requires critical thinking and looking at multiple perspectives.

wolfgirl569 wrote on February 5, 2015, 12:53 PM

I have always been different from the majority and now laugh at the people who are trying to live like I always had but wanted nothing to do with me years back.

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 1:09 PM

You know, I was thinking the very same thing. : )

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 1:11 PM

I never gave that possibility a thought. : )

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 1:13 PM

And when you gaze long enough, pretty soon the fence itself disappears from the view. : )

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 1:14 PM

Yes, nbaquero , I can easily see you as that person taking it all in, quietly observing. It makes me think of the conversations so many of us had about introverts not so long ago. : )

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 1:24 PM

I know that I didn't set out to be different, but merely found myself outside the mainstream oftentimes. I am more open these days to expressing that than I was in younger days.

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 1:27 PM

No one can accuse you of not using critical thinking skills, that's for sure. : )

MegL wrote on February 5, 2015, 1:52 PM

Sounds good to me. My father took photographs of me as a child gazing off into the distance, not here in the present at all.

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 2:15 PM

It takes some people longer to come to the same realizations, for whatever reason. I don't blame you for feeling vindicated these years later by the people who scoffed at you.

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 2:17 PM

I can easily see that about you, MegL -- not meaning you are a dreamer, but that you impress me as being your own person.

nbaquero wrote on February 5, 2015, 3:06 PM

Feisty56 That's exactly what I was going to mention when I was writing my first comment. We are in sync (Not 'NSync) emoticon :winking:

Ellis wrote on February 5, 2015, 3:08 PM

The world is not designed for non-conformists...therefore, those that go their own way are often shunned by society and tend to live their lives alone...

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 4:12 PM

I agree with you to a point -- at least that society in general doesn't tolerate non-conformity well. For decades, though, so many who eschew conventional thinking are plentiful enough to band together in various cliques and organized groups, so being a non-conformist doesn't necessarily result in being alone.

gr8nana wrote on February 5, 2015, 4:27 PM

I always been kinda like that, I a leader, not a follower. I dance to my own beat of drum.

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 4:33 PM

Oh my gosh! It's so good to see you here. Welcome. : )

I guess it depends a bit on the situation, but I can be either a leader or follower. As a follower, I don't do so blindly.

Ellis wrote on February 5, 2015, 5:14 PM

But then you become part of a smaller herd with their heads through the fence... see, this weirdo stuff is a lot harder than you first

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 5:58 PM

Now that I've wiped the tears from my eyes from laughing so hard at your response, please allow me to clarify my statement. I don't equate free thinking with being a weirdo, although I most "weirdos" are likely to be free thinkers. One can certainly exert free will without becoming an isolationist, yes?

Ellis wrote on February 5, 2015, 7:15 PM

Certainly...I have lots of company at the

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 7:19 PM

I didn't mean my comment to sound snarky. What I meant was your critical thinking skills are evident in the posts and comments you write.

bestwriter wrote on February 5, 2015, 7:35 PM

I belong there. I have never liked being a member of any club or committee as that kind of plays down individual thoughts.

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 8:13 PM

I am not of the thought that groups and committees aren't needed or serve worthwhile purposes. I think there are many situations where a group is what is called for. I know that I don't want to be a member of any group, club or otherwise that doesn't value the input of each individual.

I am not surprised to learn that you value free will and critical thinking skills. I think that comes through in many of your posts and descriptions of how you've taken charge of things such as designing your home and property, the annual Christmas party for the less fortunate children and more.

BarbRad wrote on February 5, 2015, 9:34 PM

I have never gone along with a group when I felt they were wrong or for security. If I thought what others were doing was boring, I'd go read a book. I really don't like being in a big group or chasing entertainment. I don't recognize the names of most entertainment celebrities.

I wish everyone could be left to do his or her own thing in peace as long it doesn't hurt anyone else. But I won't reject a belief system others share if it lines up with my own beliefs and we are more effective at achieving our goals as a group than we would be as individuals. I am a social creature, but I want to pick whom I socialize with. At a party, if you can get me to go in the first place, you're likely to find me in a corner somewhere in deep conversation with one other person. I have learned that the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence just because of its location.

FernandoSHA wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:00 PM

I am like that sometimes too - avoiding the pack mentality where people do what the majority does without thinking at all. I don't even mind when I'm the odd man as long as I believe that what I'm doing is right.

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 11:53 PM

Wise words -- the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence just because of its location. I agree with you and don't feel it is necessary to pursue something just for the simple fact it is beyond the fence either. I do like to be aware of expected boundaries and won't hesitate to go beyond them if I see the need.

Feisty56 wrote on February 5, 2015, 11:55 PM

I agree with you -- it is important to stand up for what we believe to be right even when the majority says otherwise -- or maybe especially when the majority says otherwise. : )

WordChazer wrote on February 6, 2015, 3:27 PM

No, I don't do hivemind either. Too bad for my husband's rellies, isn't it? Groupthink is not a policy I would endorse.

chatombreux wrote on February 7, 2015, 8:23 AM

There are things I enjoy doing with groups, but I refuse to be a carbon copy of anyone's idea of how I should be. As you say "groupthink" can be dangerous and often can lead to cult-like behavior.

allen0187 wrote on February 8, 2015, 4:45 AM

I'm that one animal that seeks to move away from the group. In fact, I would dare say that I'd rather venture out on my own than stick with the herd.

seren3 wrote on February 15, 2015, 1:29 PM

Feisty it is a good feeling to fit in somewhere - yet it is a challenge. Especially when so much information is contradictory. Free thinking these days, to me, is like suspension - waiting to see what dots connect as I peer through the smoke and mirrors!

Feisty56 wrote on February 15, 2015, 7:48 PM

I agree with you -- it is pleasant and spirit-filling to find other like-minded, or at least, open-minded people. Free thinking is harder than it used to be -- at least I think so. We are inundated with so much material, but each source seems to have its own particular slant. Fact-gathering requires a willingness to dig, dig and dig some more. Whew! It can be wearing.

VinceSummers wrote on February 17, 2015, 10:28 AM

I like conformity to some things. But I decidedly enjoy being a bit "out there" in other things. Thinking outside the box. I like to imagine what is going on in non-living processes, such as the workings of an atom, or the nature of a star. As to grazing beef, I am always wishing one steer could break away and avoid the slaughter house. Maybe that's why I liked Animal Farm.

AliCanary wrote on February 18, 2015, 4:26 PM

I'm usually off to the side, too, although I try not to pine too much for the grass on the other side of the fense--one could get one's head stuck!

Hollyhocks100 wrote on March 3, 2015, 9:18 AM

Sometimes it´s comfortable to be part of the pack sometimes not, being forced out is often difficult, but I have still never been one to go along with the crowd.