The Value Of The Minority

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

– Mark Twain

Courtesy Jonas Nilsson Lee unsplash

Being in the middle of a pack of sheep isn’t a very good way to gain perspective. All you’re likely to see is the back end of a sheep, not to mention the unlikelihood of getting much fresh air.

Let’s life fearlessly, accepting ourselves as we are. We don’t need to be defiant or difficult about it. We can simply stand in our own light, while meanwhile knowing that none of us is separate from each other. Marianne Williamson wrote about it in the well-known passage “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?“, and when I shared my perspective on what she wrote, it has been the most popular blog post ever on this ViewPacific site.

6 thoughts on “The Value Of The Minority

  1. Well-said, and perfectly timed. I’ve been feeling caught between what everyone seems to feel is alright to do, and what I believe, and really struggling with what that feels like. Trying to accept others’ beliefs about things like destroying living ecosystems to build pointless strip malls, for example. It is a tough balance to stand apart yet still be a part.

  2. What I find scary, is this very pervasive idea that if enough people believe something, it must be true. Yet, historically, it’s been demonstrated many times that this is absolutely not the case.

  3. Yes, Melissa, I’ve felt that tug, too, between what it seems like everyone feels is right and my own beliefs. I’ve felt pulled away from others, and when I’ve looked more deeply have realized I’m as much part of others as they are of me. That can be even more disconcerting, because then it means I have some part in those things I might not agree with.
    The example you offer of strip malls resonates with me, too. I would question why “those people” are starting up their bulldozers again, only to realize my own part in bringing about “progress.”
    To me, it seems we each need to trust ourselves, to do our best to express our own views and beliefs, while at the same time being mindful of those of others.
    Realizing we aren’t that different than others, lets us build the affinity with others and compassion for them just as we can do with ourselves. In this way, it feels to me we’re acting from a grounded and loving place, instead of just going with the herd or just being unconventional or contrary.

  4. Thank you, Clare, for sharing that.
    Yes, it is quite scary to see how groups of people can behave. There have been well too many examples throughout history of mob behavior. There have also been many psychological studies showing how small groups of individuals can be manipulated by outside cues. Consider the laugh tracks of comedy programs and movies, where the canned laughter can spur our own laughter.
    There’s an old song with the lyric:

    “All of our fashions come from gay Par-ee
    And if they come above the knee
    Fifty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong.
    And if they give the world a new design
    To prove a lady has a spine
    Fifty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong.”

    I believe we all have something to offer, each from our own perspective.
    Whether spending much time simply going along with the majority or defiantly standing as a minority – each of these rob us of our own unique contribution.

    Instead, let’s take something from that other French expression – vive la différence – and celebrate our individuality.

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