There is Nothing Courageous in Following the Crowd
There is a great saying, “If you spend your life chasing the crowed, the crowd will never follow you.”
I must say that I am amazed at how many people are afraid to speak up against popular opinion for fear of standing alone. Standing alone is not easy, but it is important if you want to be somebody special. I am not talking about being a loudmouth just for the sake of being noticed. But rather, standing up for what you believe against all criticism and potential retribution.
Do you know who Al Letson is? Probably not, but he should be a household name.
Not too long ago there was a “Rally Against Hate” in Berkley, CA. An amateur photographer, Keith Campbell, who was filming a cancelled demonstration in the park was attacked by a mob. The mob began beating Campbell. By his own account, Campbell was terrified and feared he would be beaten to death. Suddenly out of no where Al Letson, a journalist who did not share Campbell’s views courageously dove on Campbell to protect him from the angry mob’s blows. When the mob realized their blows were striking one of their own the beating ceased.
According to Campbell, Letson, whom he had never met before “saved my life.”
How many of us would have risked our own safety in the same way, especially for someone with whom we did not agree?
How often to you find yourself whispering under your breath for fear of being overheard?
How often have you openly disagreed with others who expected you to believe a certain way?
My suggestion is simple. Have some guts.
Harry Truman, who was nearing the end of his term and was struggling under the burden of a 28% approval rating, wrote in his journal “I wonder how far Moses would have gone or what Jesus would have preached had they relented to the crowd?”
Find your inner Harry Truman when the circumstances call you to stand up and be counted.
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