By Mike Aux-Tinee…
Cute little buggers aren’t they?
You should not underestimate these fuzz-balls, they are very independent, fearless and tenacious. When the going gets tough they are not afraid to do a little pushing back and have been known to confront much larger creatures, even humans to protect themselves.
There is a popular misconception about lemmings; that they commit mass suicide.
Just like other creatures, when their habitat can not support them any longer, they migrate. That sounds pretty normal right? It’s time to move to where the food is. Quite often they make very dangerous journeys to find a new place to live. If they can not make it they die in the process. Still sounds pretty normal. What they are not doing is jumping off a cliff, committing suicide just to play follow the leader. Hence the misconception.
Because they are associated with this behavior, the term “lemming suicide” is used as a metaphor to describe someone who goes along unquestioningly regardless of the outcome or consequences.
The other day, I came across a bumper sticker, it read:
“You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same.”
Of course, it resonated with me because I am different too. When you think about it, we are all different. There are no two of us that are exactly the same and mother nature likes it that way.
Very recently, someone who thinks they matter in my life told me that I was confrontational; I told him I am opinionated. He said, that “you walk around with a chip on your shoulder thinking you are better than everyone else.”; I told him I am confident.
It was an attempt to get me to commit lemming suicide. He wanted me to accept him as the leader of the pack and I should blindly follow him no matter what. Yea, that did not go as he planned.
For me, self-reliance is about:
Paying my own way: I do not ask for nor expect handouts. If there is something I want, I am going to work and pay for it myself. I know I will experience a greater degree of happiness and my self-esteem will be higher.
We have become a give me-give me-give me society. It has gotten to a point where many people would rather take money than go out and earn it themselves. This is a bad idea.
When you take money from anyone, it makes you dependant upon them. Whoever is handing out the money gets to make the rules and you have to follow them. Again, another bad idea.
Possessing my own thoughts : It’s so common to rely on the media, politicians, musicians and special interest groups to tell us what to think. Then take what they have said and go around repeating over and over. That is called jingoism. And that is another bad idea.
If you rely on someone else to tell you what and how to think. You will never evaluate the merits of the argument, formulate your own thoughts and decide for yourself if it is right or wrong. I do know the difference between right and wrong and I will not tolerate someone trying to brain wash me into thinking otherwise.
Speaking my own words: Our language has over a million words. Having so many words at our disposal gives us the unique ability to express ourselves, our thoughts and ideas. Instead of taking the time to find the right words, it is easier to take the lazy way out. Let’s just go along with who ever is ‘the coolest’, take what they say and just repeat it, over and over and over.
Most of the time, the person does not even know what the words mean. But if this cool person is speaking them, they must be ‘right’.
We should never rely or depend on other people to provide for us, tell us what to think and say. We need to be better than that.
I understand, you want to relax and unwind after a long day at work and taking care of your family. But when you turn on any ‘news’ channel, what you see and hear has been filtered by someone who wants you to see their side of the story. They are trying to convince (manipulate) you, what they are telling you is the truth, the only truth.
Just like the lemmings, if something is not working out, you need to go where things are better. If that means changing jobs, moving to another city or even another state, it is your responsibility to take care of yourself. It also means, becoming your own person, paying your own way; learning to think your own thoughts and speaking your own words.